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Innovating iN Smart Programmable IntegRatEd photonics

Project description

En route to the first programmable integrated photonics circuits

Spain-based company iPronics has pioneered the development of general-purpose integrated programmable photonic systems. Unlike electronic field-programmable gate arrays, this entirely new class of powerful, flexible photonic processors relies on optical interference to perform very high-speed analogue operations. The EU-funded INSPIRE project is supporting iPronics in bringing the technology to a higher level of maturity (TRL 6). The researchers will investigate how to squeeze a large number of programmable unit cells into a chip while keeping power consumption low. Programmable integrated photonics circuits could help address the voracious appetite for bandwidth, flexibility and processing speed required by emerging applications such as 5G communications, autonomous vehicles and machine vision.


iPronics has pioneered Field Programmable Photonic Gate Arrays (FPPGA), an entirely new class of powerful, flexible photonic processors for computing applications in the optical sphere. Unlike electronic FPGAs, they use optical interference to perform very high-speed analog operations. This delivers major increases in system performance and reduced power consumption.

Our project INSPIRE (Innovating iN Smart Programmable IntegRatEd photonics) will make FPPGA programmable photonics available in form of TRL5/6 demonstrators for the first time.

INSPIRE will advance our current technology readiness by increasing the number of programmable unit cells per chip and improving key performance characteristics including power consumption, space requirements and chip coupling losses. This new optical layer design is then produced in a pilot batch ready for functional tests, validation and demonstration.

We will concurrently develop the complementary electronics and software needed to drive, monitor and program this newly developed field-programmable photonic gate arrays (FPPGAs) and involve early adopters to ensure our target specification meet market requirements. We will validate the potential of programmable photonics in form of three prototypes ready for demonstration:
1) a general-purpose starter kit suitable for education, R&D and simple applications,
2) a RF-Photonics demonstrator designed to accelerate waveform processing in mobile communication networks, and
3) a Photonic Computing demonstrator that will speed up data centre operations.

We will advance beyond the current TRL4/BRL3 to at least TRL6/BRL5 by validating and demonstrating the newly developed solution with pilot users from selected verticals. The results will be used to update our business case, refine our business model and prepare for scale-up and market entry in a follow-on project.


Net EU contribution
€ 2 453 292,00
46022 Valencia

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Este Comunitat Valenciana Valencia/València
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 2 453 292,50