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Pasadena-Based Company Invents Groundbreaking Micro-Transfer-Printed Silicon Photonics-Based Laser Technology

Published on Friday, September 23, 2022 | 6:11 am

[Image courtesy of Rockley Photonics]
Rockley Photonics, a Pasadena-based company with facilities in England, Wales, Finland, announced it has created an ultra-small chip, comparable in size to a pencil tip, which can have a significant impact in the small wearable medical devices industry.

Calling it a “groundbreaking achievement” in the micro-transfer-printed (mTP) silicon-photonics-based laser technology, the company said this chip can lay the foundation for continued photonic chip size reduction and additional reductions in chip manufacturing costs.

The chip also presents potential new commercial opportunities for Rockley, including ultra-small wearables, clothing, or XR/AR/VR headsets and glasses, according to the company.

This breakthrough is the direct result of Rockley’s partnership with the Tyndall National Institute in Ireland, X-Celeprint Limited, and the Irish Photonics Integration Centre. The project, supported by funding from the Irish government, started five years ago and involved a team of world-class engineers and researchers.

“Applying the micro-transfer printing process to the production of integrated lasers is a huge breakthrough that we believe will have a tremendous impact on wearable biosensing and on the photonics industry as a whole,” Dr. Andrew Rickman, Rockley chairman and CEO, said. “We arguably have some of the most sophisticated photonics technology in the world, and this unprecedented level of miniaturization raises the bar even further.”

By creating biosensing chips that are smaller, lower-cost, and more efficient, the company can continue to improve their wearable biosensing products and deliver newer and more powerful ways to monitor health, Rickman added.

A company statement said new silicon-photonics-based biosensing chips using mTP technology may be available around the first half of 2024.

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