Dutch government, ASML, NXP and VDL put €100M into Smart Photonics

Dutch government, ASML, NXP and VDL put €100M into Smart Photonics

Smart Photonics, a Dutch manufacturer of photonic chips, has raised 100 million euros. Backers of the Eindhoven-based outfit are the government, regional and national growth funds and chip companies from the local area.

Smart Photonics focuses on the development and manufacturing process of photonic chips. Photonic chips transfer information via particles of light (photons) instead of the more traditionally used electrons in chips. This makes processors more economical and potentially faster. Photonic chips are particularly suitable for medical sensors, self-driving cars and quantum computing applications.

Investment of 100 million euros

The Netherlands leads the world when it comes to photonic chips and wants to keep it that way. The investment in Smart Photonics is part of this. Of the 100 million euros in investments, 60 million euros will come directly from the Dutch growth fund Nationaal Groeifonds.

The remaining 40 million euros will come from the pot of the investment fund InvestNL of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Brabant-based development company BOM and the partnership with PhotonDelta.

Notably, three major chip producers and suppliers (ASML, NXP and VDL) are participating in the investment. How much these producers are directly investing is not known. An important reason for these investments is that the companies want to strengthen the tech sector in the Eindhoven region and European ecosystems around photonic chips.

Other smaller investors contributing to the 100 million for Smart Photonics include BOP Impact Ventures, ING, Innovation Industries and KPN Ventures.

Scaling up production capacity

Smart Photonics plans to use the investment to strengthen its position as a market leader in photonic chips within the European photonic market. More specifically, the money will be used to scale up production capacity and further accelerate the development of its own integrated photonic chip platforms and its Process Design Kits (PDKs).

Tip: Europe, ASML and Flanders get imec ready for modern chips