Publishable project summary

Today the imaging market is dominated by mobile applications (mobile smart-phones, laptops and tablets) and by digital still cameras. However, close scrutinisation of market intelligence and of the dynamics of emerging applications reveals enormous growth in new markets, exhibited both by Imaging product penetration in existing domains, like automotive, medical and consumer products (TV, gaming…) and also by the explosion of brand new applications. Innovation in photonic sensor technologies, particularly those with on-board intelligence, has triggered an array of new products for things like proximity sensing, optical navigation and various human-machine interfaces based on optical systems.

Accessible markets in these domains, totalling $692M in 2012, are expected to exceed $2.4B by 2017 through 20% continuous growth. To be a leading player in these emerging photonics markets, Europe needs to invest in its innovation strengths in nano-electronics for the deployment of differentiating products in diverse fields. The POLIS ECSEL project is precisely aligned with this strategic goal, underpinning long term sustainability for its partners by creating strengths in photonic competence across several forward looking domains.

POLIS incorporates a unique consortium consisting of large corporations, SMEs, institutes and universities from all over Europe and focuses on the following core objectives:

  • To push back the frontiers of the existing Imaging Market by devising new products, exploiting existing or new technologies, improving manufacturing and testing tools,
  • To explore new opportunities for sensors and systems development in a wider spectral range (from gamma rays to Infrared), using innovative detection techniques (single photon avalanche diodes), materials or technologies (OLED-on-Silicon),
  • To significantly improve the state-of-the-art and performance of existing technologies and work on yield and production cost,
  • More specifically to implement at pilot line level specific technological modules to enable new products based on innovative technologies such as back-side-illuminated sensors, single photon avalanche diodes, silicon micro-bolometers, Time-of-Flight, OLED on silicon, through-silicon vias and 3D-stacking.
  • European actors with recognized leadership in these advanced R&D domains are pooling their knowledge for success in the POLIS initiative. They will ensure solid and innovative foundation building in the disruptive technologies required by the domain of photonics.

    The ST-Crolles 200mm and 300mm sites which host production and pilot lines, both capable of handling medium volume production and developing and qualifying new technologies, in conjunction with the close proximity of an optical packaging line and of the CEA-LETI facility, provides the manufacturing robustness required by POLIS consortium.

    POLIS consortium is confident that it will achieve the end objectives because it is mobilizing Europe’s best industry and research groups with state-of-the-art expertise in the areas of nano-electronics technologies, manufacturing and test equipment, advanced materials, circuits architectures and systems integration into a common effort for developing the future generation of optical sensors and micro-displays.