New investment in VU spin-off Rapid Photonics for even faster internet

April 8, 2024

Rapid Photonics receives funding from Innovatiefonds Noord-Holland for the development of an innovative production process of photonic chips with lithium niobate. Rapid Photonics B.V. is a spin-off of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Through the new convertible loan of €300,000, the company will be getting their technology market-ready to produce integrated photonic chips with lithium niobate, a next-generation material for integrated photonic chips.

The challenge and opportunity

The use of lithium niobate in integrated photonic chips makes it possible to drastically increase the speed of fiber optic connections and greatly reduce the power consumption of data traffic. To date, it has been very challenging to produce photonic chips in lithium niobate. This has prevented broad commercial application of lithium niobate in photonic chips.

Towards a scalable technology

Rapid Photonics B.V. has developed a technology that solves the problem of producing photonic chips based on lithium-niobate. The technology uses production processes used in the semiconductor industry. This makes the technology very suitable for industrial-scale production in existing chip factories. The financing from Innovatiefonds Noord-Holland enables Rapid Photonics to develop a demonstrator for the telecom market.

Steven Tan, Co-Founder of Rapid Photonics:

“For many years research has been conducted with photonic chips in lithium niobate. Fantastic results have been achieved in terms of data speed and energy efficiency. Unfortunately, until now it has not been possible to produce photonic chips in lithium niobate on an industrial scale. Our technology will change that. We are very pleased with the support from the Innovatiefonds Noord-Holland, which enables us to take the first steps towards commercialization.” Website Rapid Photonics

Wouter Keij, Fund Manager voor Innovatiefonds Noord-Holland:

“Rapid Photonics is developing an innovative technology for an etchless production process of photonic chips based on lithium niobate. Due to its compatibility with current chip production processes, Rapid Photonics’ technology can be applied in a scalable manner. Rapid Photonics thus makes an important contribution to the technological position of the Netherlands in the field of photonics.”

About Innovatiefonds Noord-Holland

Innovatiefonds Noord-Holland is an initiative of the Province of Noord-Holland, University of Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam UMC and Sanquin. The Fund supports entrepreneurs in the province of Noord-Holland through financing innovation in the Proof-of-Concept phase by providing convertible loans. Innovatiefonds Noord-Holland manages two funds: a fund for innovative starters, supported by the RVO, and a fund for academic starters, supported by ERDF.

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