imec currently offers the following technologies for EUROPRACTICE customers:

imec Si-Photonics iSiPP50G

The ISiPP50G platform co-integrates a wide variety of passive and active components to support a wide range of optical transceiver architectures at data rates of 25Gb/s or 50Gb/s. The offered integrated components include low-loss waveguides, efficient vertical grating or broadband edge couplers, high-speed silicon electro-optic modulators, high-speed silicon-germanium electro-absorption modulators and high-speed germanium waveguide photo-detectors. iSiPP50G offers state-of-the-art performance, design flexibility and superior CD and thickness control. It is a fixed process technology (130nm) with a validated device library.

ModulesDescriptionEnabled devices
3 silicon
patterning steps
3 etch depths
in 220nm Si:
70nm, 160nm;
220nm (193 nm litho)
Strip/rib waveguides,
various passive
optical devices,
silicon taper
Gate oxide and
Poly-Silicon layer
1 etch depth:
full poly etch (160nm)
(193nm litho)
Advanced grating couplers,
poly-Si waveguide
Ion implantation in Si8 implants levels:
4x n-type and
4x p-type
Si carrier depletion,
injection and
accumulation devices,
Ge Photodectors,
doped Si resistors, …
Ge module100% Ge(Si) RPCVD
selective epitaxial
growth & 2x
implants levels
Ge Photodectors Ge(Si) EA
Silicide tungsten
contact module
Ohmic contacts
to doped silicon
Standard CMOS
contacts plugs
Metal heaterMetal layer for heatersMetal heaters
Two-level metal
Cu-based two-level
Standard CMOS
Aluminium finish
Standard CMOS
Deep trenchDeep trench
to expose edge
coupler facets
Edge couplers

imec Si-Photonics Passives+

imec Si-Photonics Passives+ technology is a subset of iSiPP50G technology.

Main characteristics:


  • The device layer of SOI wafers is etched at three different depths to enable integration of different photonic functions.
  • A patterned poly-Silicon layer improves the performance of grating couplers for out-of-plane coupling to fibers.
  • A deep etched trench at an edge of the chips, combined with edge-coupler components, provides optical access, with a broader optical bandwidth.
  • A layer for metal-based heaters enables thermal tuning of the optical functions.
  • Electrical access to the metal heaters is established through two additional levels of metal interconnect.
  • The imec Si-Photonics Multi Project Wafer service (MPW) serves datacom and telecom applications, but also welcomes designs for other applications, e.g. sensing.

imec SiN-Photonics BioPIX

BioPIX is imec’s silicon nitride (SiN) photonics platform which is particularly optimized for applications in the visible and near infra-red wavelengths. The platform is based on PECVD SiN-on-insulator 200mm wafers processed on 180nm process technology in a CMOS fab. This allows highly repeatable and low variability fabrication of integrated photonic devices. The technology has been validated through 6 early-access MPWs in the EU project PIX4life.


BioPIX is available in two different technology flavors:

  • BioPIX150, based on 150nm thick SiN, for applications in the wavelength range of 400nm – 700nm.
  • BioPIX300, based on 300nm thick SiN, for applications in the wavelength range of 700nm – 1000nm.

The platform offers possibility of two depth levels for SiN etch to allow fabrication of components such as strip waveguide, rib waveguide, shallow and fully etched grating couplers etc. The platform allows selective removal of cladding from waveguides for micro-fluidic channels and sensing zones etc. The platform also offers two layers of metals for functions such as thermo-optic tuning, electrical inter-connects etc., and a layer for deep trench etch for devices such as edge couplers.


Designing for this platform is supported through the process-design-kits (PDK) for Synopsys and Luceda Photonics software. The PDK includes technology files for designing, design library of building block components (waveguides, grating couplers, MMIs, directional couplers etc.), and documentation describing the technology, design rules and library components.

ModulesDescriptionEnabled devices
2 SiN flavors2 SiN thicknesses:
150nm (BioPIX150)
300nm (BioPIX300)
2 flavors optimized for wavelengths 300nm – 1000nm
2 SiN patterning steps each2 etch depths
BioPIX150: 90nm / 150nm
BioPIX300: 150nm / 300nm
Strip / rib waveguides, shallow etched grating couplers
Clad oxide removalExposure of waveguides for sensing by removing local clad SiO2Micro-channels for evanescent sensing by waveguides.
Metal heaterTiN metal lines for resistive heatingThermo-optic tuners, switches, modulators etc.
Metal interconnectAl metal lines and pads for interconnectsMetal interconnects, probe-pads, bond-pads
Deep trenchDeep trench to expose edge coupler facetsEdge couplers

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