MIT's AIM Photonics Academy looks to expand

MIT’s AIM Photonics Academy helped organize a gathering of more than 60 people at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, earlier this month to explore opportunities in integrated photonics, and discuss possibilities for a large investment to create a Lab for Education and Application Prototypes (LEAP) in integrated photonics there.

Attendees included representatives from companies, colleges, and universities, the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Program, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, and aides to U.S. Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III. 

Integrated photonics uses complex optical circuits to process and transmit signals of light, similar to the routing of electrical signals in a computer microchip. In contrast to the electrical transmission in a microchip, a photonic integrated circuit can transmit multiple information channels simultaneously using different wavelengths of light with minimal interference and energy loss to enable high-bandwidth, low-power communications.

 MIT AIM Photonics Academy Executive Lionel Kimerling speaks during a meeting at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, on Nov. 14. “With the help of the state, Massachusetts can be the Silicon Valley for the growth of ultra-high performance communications systems using integrated photonics,” he said.

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