President Barack Obama unveiled a new Department of Defense competition to award $100 million in public investment to create the Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Institute. The government investment will match $100 million or more in private investment The president made the announcement at Millennium Steel in Princeton, Indiana to support Manufacturing Day. U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker’s also addressed people at Millennium Steel.
The combined investment will go towards building a new Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IMI) focused on Integrated Photonics. A White House Fact Sheet indicated that the Integrated Photonics Manufacturing Institute will focus on developing an end-to-end photonics ‘ecosystem’ in the US, including domestic foundry access, integrated design tools, automated packaging, and assembly. The institute will also offer test and workforce development.
III-V Compound Semiconductors including GaAs, InGaAs, and InP help make solid state lasers and LEDs as well as optical amplifiers. Technologies as diverse as telecommunications, the internet, and medicine are expected to benefit from advances in integrated photonics. Taking advantage of these opportunities requires high-volume foundry, processing, packaging, and manufacturing that is cost effective and reliable. The Integrated Photonics Institute is expected to be the largest ever federal investment in the photonics industry.