Photonic integrated circuit design and prototyping.




Mission

VLC Photonics is a reliable partner, totally committed to your particular technical and business needs, human in the deal, and pioneer in the market development of application-specific photonic integrated circuits.

Our mission is to provide engineering solutions that allow our customers to harness the benefits of photonic integration, as well as to build up on our providers technologies. Our mission spans from the initial work of drafting high-level optical system architectures to the final part of specifying its deepest technical details, all the while under a customized approach to the specific application domain at hand.

Vision

We aim at becoming a reputable pure-play photonic design house, skilled in the main material platforms under a fabless business model approach. We value expertise and reliability, to be able to fulfill the most defying challenges and provide trustworthy and professional solutions.

VLC Photonics aims at being a fundamental global actor of the complex and evolving photonic integration ecosystem, contributing to the development of synergies among different international players, and to the expansion of photonic integration technologies and the growth of their markets.

The Company

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VLC Photonics was born in 2011 as a spin-off company from the Telecommunications and Multimedia Applications Institute (iTEAM) located at the Universitat Politecnica de Valencia (Spain), where its founders worked as researchers on optical communication systems and photonic integrated circuits for more than 20 years.

While VLC Photonics was born as a design house for photonic integrated circuits, it has evolved along the years to respond to the market needs. Currently, it provides all kinds of services spanning the whole photonic integration process, from initial evaluation to design, manufacturing, test, and packaging.

Nowadays, VLC Photonics is a world pioneer on the fabless business model, offering independent pure-play services, and collaborating with a global network of foundries, packagers and providers. The company serves customers in many markets, from communications, to sensing, quantum optics, biophotonics, instrumentation, etc., and has worked with several Fortune 500 and equivalent corporations, as well as emerging start-ups and world-recognized researchers.

FAQ

What do you sell?

We are a fabless company offering different services and solutions to exploit the advantages of photonic integrated circuits. From a high-level system perspective, we can assess the feasibility of integrating any optical system into a photonic chip, and provide cost estimates, expected performances and foreseeable limitations. We then cover the whole integration process, from the photonic modelling, simulation, design and layout, to the prototyping, packaging, die and wafer level testing or certification if needed. Additionally, we can provide stand-alone outsourced design services, foundry process design kit (PDK) development, and fab reports.
What optical applications can benefit from integration?

Most optical systems can be integrated one way or another. From telecommunications (transceivers for FTTx and access networks, microwave and RF photonics, long haul and transport networks, optical datacom) to optical signal processing (LIDAR, optical metrology, optical instrumentation, optical communications, quantum optics), sensing (structural engineering, chemical sensors, transport and aerospace, energy and utilities) or biophotonics (medical instrumentation, photonic lab-on-a-chip, analytics and diagnostics, optical biosensors). You can learn more about this in the applications section of the web.
Why should I replace an electrical or optical part of my system by a photonic integrated circuit?

This will always depend on your system and application, but there is a good chance that integrated photonic technologies, as opposed to free-space or fibre-based optics, can make your application faster and more scalable, most of the times simpler, with lower power consumption, and most importantly, in a more cost-effective way in the long run. Learn more at our Technology page.
But integration is usually an expensive technology!

While this used to be true, current mass-manufacturing of integrated photonic circuits is lowering the cost of optical systems, and fabless manufacturing models like the one provided by VLC Photonics are allowing small and medium sized entreprises to benefit from this technology at reasonable costs. Additionally, integration by itself reduces costs in the bill of materials, in the packaging, in the assembly and test, and in the OPEX of the system too. There are plenty of opportunities for low-cost manufacturing through shared multi-project wafer runs(also known as shuttle runs), and volumes don't need to be high, just a few tens of chips are OK to start with. Learn more at our Technology page.
What does it mean that you are a fabless company?

Being fabless means that we outsource the chip fabrication to external partners, and we focus only on the design and the later characterization and testing phases. By being fabless, we are not restricted to design your chips in a single material platform or attached to a certain fabrication process, allowing always to select the most suited manufacturing partner for your application. We have gathered our knowledge (only public information) about these manufacturers in our foundry reports.
What materials do you work with?

We are skilled in the design of chips in III-V compounds (mostly Indium Phosphide, InP and Gallium Arsenide, GaAs) and in Silicon Photonics (Silica SiO2/PLC, Silicon-on-Insulator SOI, and Silicon Nitride Si3N4). Alternatively, our expertise also covers polymers, Lithium Niobate (LiNbO3) and others. Learn from all the photonic chip manufacturers for each material platform at our Foundry reports.
Can I order a large series of chips? Or just one prototype chip?

Yes, you can, and we will be happy to serve you. We work with multiple photonic foundries, each of them adequate for a certain volume, from a few units to hundreds or thousands of chips. Nevertheless, to guarantee your investment we advise to first develop some prototypes, to proof-test and optimize the chip functionality as well as its interaction with the rest of your system. Contact us for more details at our Request form.
What is the difference between VLC Photonics and an optical chip manufacturer?

Chip manufacturers make huge investments in very expensive fabrication equipment and facilities, and they serve huge markets with millions of units of certain components, like telecom transceivers or splitters. We also address smaller niche markets where customers may have very specific needs for different domains. Our years-long expertise in optical systems, and design skills in multiple material platforms, allow us to realize the optimal photonic circuit for the application at hand. Learn more on the fabless business model at our Technology page.
Do you take care of the packaging of the optical chip and the later opto-electronic integration into my product?

Yes, we can do it if needed. We do have basic assembly capabilities in-house and through our specialized back-end partners, we can provide multiple solutions according to the end-product needs, including our professional assistance on the best packaging and assembly options, control software, certification or later integration of the photonic chip into the final system. Learn more at our Packaging page.
And what about intellectual property (IP) rights?

All the IP rights of a system you want us to design can remain your own if you require so. We always work under strict non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and confidentiality is a very important aspect for us. We act as a pure-play design house, meaning we do not sell any products or self-developments, we are fully at your disposal.
What are the general Terms and Conditions of VLC Photonics?

Our complete T&C can be downloaded from this website at: Legal Disclaimer and T&C
How can I be sure about VLC Photonics services quality?

The in-house services provided by VLC Photonics (Consultancy, Design, Characterization and Assembly) are strictly controlled through our internal processes. Recently awarded with the ISO 9001 certification, we are keen to improve everyday the quality of the work we deliver to our customers.

Fabless fabrication and packaging services provided by VLC Photonics are based on the quality and guarantees delivered by our partners. We make sure, through our provider management and evaluation processes, that the quality here is ensured as much as possible, although many times during prototyping, we need to clarify to our customers that these external services can only be subcontracted under a "best effort" approach.

Our Team

  • Pascual Muñoz
  • José Capmany
  • José David Domenech
  • Iñigo Artundo
  • Jan Hendrik den Besten
  • Fernando Valerdi

Come work with us!

Do you want to build your career in the exiting Photonic Integration sector? Join us in Valencia and share your ideas and work with some of the most brilliant engineers in the field. You are just one email away, send us your cv at careers@vlcphotonics.com and make it happen!


“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle.”
Steve Jobs


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Awards & Recognitions

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2019 PIC Award for the “BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN PIC DEVELOPMENT”

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IDEAS Upv recognition for VLCs outstanding business track in 2019.

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ISO 9001:2015 quality certification made by Bureau Veritas organization.





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Accesit award for Best business plan at the Catedras Bancaja Young University Entrepreneurs Contest 2010.

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Selected for the prestigious Uniemprendia entrepreneurship 2011 program.

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Second prize on the "Research based company" category at the IDEAS Business Awards 2011





Funded by CDTI/neotec start-up programme

Certified by EOI for ENISA

Certified by Gobierno de España




Our Partners

  • Photonics21
  • EPIC
  • EUROPRACTICE
  • Fotonica21
  • NanoSpain
  • ePIXfab
  • Ligentec
  • CMP
  • CNM
  • LioniX
  • GCS
  • Intengent
  • JePPiX
  • Synopsys
  • 7 Pennies
  • UPV Spin-Off
  • VLC/CAMPUS
  • PDAFlow Foundation