Advanced PACKaging EnABLing FuturE Technologies (PACKABLE)

Lead Participant: Effect Photonics Ltd


"Technological advances in communication and data transfer are increasingly visible all around us, at home, at work and in the businesses and organisations that we all depend on. In the last 5 years we have started to take our smartphones, tablets, video calling, Smart TVs, social media, and cloud storage for granted. With our rapidly increasing use of existing Internet technology and the emerging Internet of Things (IoT), we are experiencing unprecedented bandwidth growth. In their 12th annual VNI report (2016), Cisco forecast that by 2021, there will be 4.6 billion internet users and 27.1 billion networked devices and connections across the globe.

Bandwidth growth is constrained by the cost and performance of the optical communication devices that interconnect datacenters. Current datacenter interconnect solutions sustain 100 Gigabits per second (Gbps) per wavelength, which is not adequate for future demand. The industry has identified a target of 1000Gbps (1Terabit per second) to satisfy demand in 2021 and beyond (

Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) with Digital Signal Processing (DSP) is the leading bandwidth solution, demonstrating great potential to deliver data throughput of 1 Terabit per second (Tbps).

However, the commercial viability of new solutions is largely dependent on cost. This includes the cost of the technology itself, and its compatibility with existing infrastructure. New solutions must comply with stringent size criteria to allow products to be used with existing infrastructure.

Current state of the art device packaging will not meet the DCI market's future cost, performance, and size requirements. Our project, ""Advanced PACKaging EnABLing FuturE Technologies"" (PACKABLE), will deliver a novel, cost-effective and compact packaging solution which will enable \>1Tbps data throughput.

We will meet future cost, performance and size criteria using our patented compact packaging technology, which is 15X cheaper than existing packaging solutions.

Moreover, we will exploit UK technical expertise and IP to develop innovative techniques to adapt the packaging manufacturing process for high temperature processing, enabling us to use existing lower cost, high volume, semiconductor IC manufacturing lines.

Our packaging will also be compatible with diverse applications such as silicon photonics and fibre optic sensors used in medical, space, defence, energy, transport and construction sectors. The global market for optical DCI alone is projected to reach US$6.41Bn by 2023 (CAGR 10.04%) (DCI Market 2017-2022,, Aug17), so the exploitation of this multi-sector packaging solution represents a very significant opportunity for the UK value chain SMEs in our project team."

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Effect Photonics Ltd, Brixham £745,928 £ 522,150


Bay Photonics Ltd £255,252 £ 178,676
Optoscribe Limited, Livingston £424,871 £ 297,410
Manufacturing Technology Centre, COVENTRY £255,000 £ 254,999
OpTek Limited, United Kingdom £294,733 £ 206,312


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