Photonics is a technology for detecting, generating, transporting and processing of light. It is similar to electronics, with only one big difference: photonics uses photons, instead of electrons, to transfer information. Making the photonic technology more energy friendly and faster. For example, photonics is used for monitors, lighting, lasers, solar cells, sensors and fiber-optic networks.
Since photonic microchips are using less energy than electronic microchips, they provide the solution to the extremely high amounts of energy used by data centers. Furthermore, they can be very accurate when used for monitoring of e.g. aircraft wings or for construction of bridges or high buildings. In addition, they are very suitable for use in precision farming. By using photonic chips, the farmer will know exactly when it is time to start sowing, fertilizing or watering the crops.
How to use photonics in your company
The Netherlands is a frontrunner in the development and production of integrated photonic chips based on photons instead of electrons. Currently, microelectronics is largely used for social developments. However, in the future integrated photonics will be used more often. In this respect, photon-based technologies will be key in respect of data communication, healthcare, sustainability, mobility, safety and agriculture.
What does Brainport offer with respect to Photonics?
Several companies, knowledge institutes and governmental organizations have decided to share their knowledge and expertise regarding photonics in the PhotonDelta Foundation. This is a partnership focusing on enhancing the existing infrastructure, generating new activities and establishing the image of the Netherlands as global leader in integrated photonics. Most knowledge institutes and companies that are part of the foundation are located in the Brainport region, such as the Technical University of Eindhoven, Brainport Development, the province of North Brabant, the companies SMART Photonics, EFFECT Photonics, Bright Photonics, Synopsys and VTEC and the research institutes Cobra, JePPIX and Nanolab@TUe.
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