Three MNTL faculty to conduct research on photonic integrated circuits as part of a university-industry team competing for $110 million in Department of Defense funding to strengthen America’s integrated photonics manufacturing.

PRISM: Illinois faculty part of major integrated photonics research effort

University of Illinois electrical engineering and MNTL faculty John DallesasseMilton Feng, and Lynford Goddard are part of a university-industry team competing for $110 million in Department of Defense funding aimed at strengthening America’s integrated photonics manufacturing, an emerging technology base for future economic development. The team’s Photonics Research Institute for Sustainable Manufacturing (PRISM)proposal was recently selected as one of three finalists for the funding, which is part of the Integrated-Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IP-IMI) competition.

Led by the University of Central Florida, PRISM includes additional faculty from Clemson University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Alabama-Huntsville, as well as more than 55 companies spanning the entire value chain of integrated photonics. Most of the PRISM research will be housed in Osceola County, FL, in a 100,000 square foot advanced manufacturing research facility currently under construction. UCF, the county, and other partner agencies are investing $120 million in this facility and additional support.

PRISM and the two competing teams will submit their proposals to DoD by March 31, 2015, and funding will be awarded to one consortium in June. IP-IMI’sgoal is to advance the design, manufacture, testing, assembly, and packaging of complex photonic integrated circuits.

Dallesasse, Feng, and Goddard will conduct research on photonic integrated circuits (PICs) based on high-speed vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), heterogenous integration, silicon photonics, and the transistor laser to enhance the manufacturing of next-generation optical interconnects.

“PRISM will be a real game-changer for big data and information transfer for a variety of applications, including data centers, telepresence and immersion, real-time brain imaging, and virtual reality gaming,” said Feng. “It will revolutionize the microelectronics IC industry and the Internet. My Illinois MNTL colleagues and I will help lead the effort to realize this technology.”