PhotonDelta is receiving a 1.1 billion euro investment to make The Netherlands a front runner in the field of photonic chips.

About half of the investment (470 million euros) is financed by the Dutch government. The rest stems from PhotonDelta’s partners.

The Dutch government wants to position the Netherlands as a world leader in the field of photonic chips, also known as photonic integrated circuits (PIC). PhotonDelta plays a key role. The organization connects researchers and manufacturers in the industry to ultimately produce and develop photonic chips. The organization operates on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven.

Photonic chips

Photonic chips are capable of transmitting information via light particles. Traditional chips do so with electricity. Photonic chips have several advantages. Data is processed and transmitted more effectively. The production process is similar to that of traditional chips. Photonic chips also use wafer-scale technology, which allows for mass production.

PhotonDelta’s ecosystem consists of several chip developers and manufacturers. The funding is primarily intended for them. PhotonDelta will use the investment to invest in photonic startups and scale-ups, expand production, and attract talent. By 2030, PhotonDelta aims to produce more than 100,000 wafers per year, with a global ecosystem of hundreds of companies and customers.

Ewit Roos, CEO of PhotonDelta: “This grant is a game-changer. The investment is intended to make the Netherlands the epicentre of the next generation of semiconductors. This can have a tremendous impact on the entire European technology industry.”

European Chips Act

For years, European member states weren’t allowed to invest in the production of chips. That changed with the European Chips Act. The Netherlands and other member states will soon be allowed to offer state aid to chip producers, including PhotonDelta. Though the Chips Act isn’t in effect just yet, the European Commission called on all member states to solve the chip shortage as quickly as possible.

Earlier, it became clear that Germany and Italy plan to seize the opportunity through billion-dollar investments in chip manufacturers. The Dutch government’s plan remained unclear. The investment in PhotonDelta is the first major news to come out since the Chips Act’s introduction.

Image source: Bart van Overbeeke.