Key Research Areas



MASSTART aims to provide a holistic transformation to the assembly and characterization of high speed photonic transceivers towards bringing the cost down to €1/Gb/s or even lower in mass production. This will guarantee European leadership in the Photonics industry for the next decade.

MASSTART will surpass the cost metric threshold by using enhanced and scalable techniques:

  • glass interface based laser/PIC and fiber/PIC coupling approaches, leveraging glass waveguide technology to obtain spot size and pitch converters in order to dramatically increase optical I/O density, while facilitating automated assembly processes,
  • 3D packaging (TSV) enabling backside connection of the high speed PIC to a Si carrier,
  • a new generation of flip chip bonders with enhanced placement in a complete assembly line compatible with Industry 4.0 which will guarantee an x6 improvement in throughput and
  • wafer-level evaluation of assembled circuits with novel tools that will reduce the characterization time by a factor of 10, down to 1 minute per device.

This process flow will be assessed with the fabrication and characterization of four different demonstrators, addressing the mid-term requirements of next generation transceivers required by Data Center operators and covering both inter- and intra- Data Center applications. These demonstrators are:

  • a 4-channel PSM4 module in QSFP-DD format with 400G aggregate bit rate,
  • an 8-channel WDM module in a QSFP-DD format with 800G aggregate bit rate,
  • a 16-channel WDM on-board module delivering 1.6Tb/s aggregate line rate and
  • a tunable single-wavelength coherent transceiver with 600Gb/s capacity following the DP-64QAM modulation format on 64Gbaud/s line rate.

Finally, MASSTART will interact closely with international bodies to ensure the compliance and standardization of the developed technology with other proposed packaging form factors for rapid commercialization.


The MASSTART project intends to establish a new assembly and test paradigm for next generation 800G and 1.6 T transceivers, including On-Board configuration, using robust, low cost, and high throughput packaging and test techniques, thus increasing Europe mass manufacturing capability for Datacom modules.

The first objective of the MASSTART project is to standardize a set of glass waveguide based interfaces allowing high density PIC/fiber interconnects and laser/PIC coupling (loss<0.5dB, pitch 15µm).

The second objective of the MASSTART project is to develop a micro submount, with the related assembly process, to allow laser hybrid integration onto the PIC with alignment tolerances <1µm and angular error<0.5°.

The third objective of the MASSTART project is to develop an optimized equipment and process for high throughput (improvement factor of 6) assembly of the aforementioned part together with the PIC.

The fourth objective of the MASSTART project is to develop a full PIC fabrication process flow embedding TSVs (transmission loss lower than 2dB at 60GHz, pitch 40µm).

The fifth objective of the MASSTART project is to setup test methodologies at wafer level for reduced time during characterization (improvement factor of 10 in characterisation in time) and yield analysis (targeted yield 90%).

The sixth objective of the MASSTART project is to enhance the capabilities of flip chip bonders for enhanced performance and reduced assembly time by factor of 6.

The seventh objective of the MASSTART project is to establish a standard process flow for Terabit/s class transceiver modules assembly and test.

The eight objective of the MASSTART project is to assess the full assembly & test flow by demonstrating two type of terabit class transceivers (C-Band 600Gb/s coherent for inter data center, and O-Band 1.6 Tb/s on-board for intra data center).

The ninth objective of the MASSTART project is to manage a standardization activity for next generation Terabit/s transceivers, and the related packaging.

MASSTART project is co-funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union with Grant Agreement Nr. 825109

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