Project acronym: TOUCAN
Project title: Techniques for Simplified Assembly of Optical Units for High Capacity Access Networks
Project duration: 2 years from December 2011 to November 2013
Coordinator: CIP Technologies
Scientific representative of the coordinator: Dr Michael Robertson

Executive summary

The project aimed to develop automated assembly equipment to enable the manufacture of low cost integrated photonic modules for future access networks. The relatively compact 2 year project involved CIP Technologies (Coordinator, UK) and Finetech (DE). The focus was the development of a Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexed (DWDM) optical transceiver for use as the optical network unit (ONU) within a WDM access network. CIP developed the building blocks for the module assembled using passive alignment techniques suited to volume production at low unit cost. That included the development of the motherboard design and out of plane mirror, development and integration of the planar lightwave circuit and band splitting filter, and development of the reflective electro-absorption modulator (REAM) with integrated semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA). These advances will be used in future products that will be taken through to volume manufacture. Finetech made key improvements to the modules for the flip chip bonder with much higher assembly accuracy than previously achieved. That involved improved optical assembly with novel vision recognition for low index contrast structures, new heating plate and tool design incorporating a self-levelling head.

Public project report (.docx download): TOUCAN