The European project PIX4life has the ambition to become the world’s first open access pilot line for Photonic Integrated Circuits (PIC’s) targeting life science applications in the visible range. In order to do so, PIX4life puts strong emphasis on lowering the entry barriers by implementing cost effective Open Access Multi Project Wafer runs (MPW’s) for SMEs, researchers and large corporations.


The PIX4life project formed by two R&D institutes, two academic partners and nine SMEs has the capabilities to offer, in addition to these MPWs, all the services required to cover the full PICs development cycle, from consultancy and design to testing and packaging.




With several years of expertise in the field, the members of the consortium can assist any company, institution or interested person to evaluate the feasibility, both technically and economically, of a given photonic integrated project for life sciences applications.


This assistance may include among other services: technology and foundry platform evaluation, mapping of required functionalities into specific devices for circuit integration, component and system performance evaluation, intellectual property evaluation, prototype cost estimation, and scalability study for mass production escalation.


Consultancy prices will start from a discounted price of 2.000€ during the course of the PIX4Life project.




The PIX4Life Pilot Line can support your business or institution in doing, or helping you to do, the design and layout of a photonic integrated circuit in Silicon Nitride, in three different ways.


- Design support: For those who want to design their own PIC, a design house is available to support them. This covers answering any design questions they may have, reviewing the layout for manufacturability, test and packaging advices, and design rule checking (DRC). Also, two different software licences (PhoeniX and Luceda) can be acquired at a discounted price of 1.150€ per run during PIX4Life project.

- Standard design: If your project makes use of the standard building blocks available at the two offered platforms, this should be your option.

- Custom Design: Trust the design engineers of VLC Photonics to help you out reaching your target specifications by designing a PIC based on your technical requirements.



Cell size

During PIX4Life

Design support

1 block


Standard design

1 block


Custom design*

1 block


* Custom design prices will depend on the level of customization, the prices given here are only estimates.




Manufacturing will be carried out at the premisses of the two foundries members of the consortium, LioniX and IMEC, with the following





Cell size

Cell copies

Cell cost



24 x 8 / 16 mm

4 dies




5.3 x 4.8 mm

20 dies


 * A 10% discount for EU industry customers, and 20% for EU academic customers will be applied during PIX4life project.

The process will include assembly of the designs into the masks, fabrication and validation of the wafers, and dicing of the wafers into dies for delivery.



The Characterization of test structures and basic building block at the bare die level might be done if required after chip fabrication in order to evaluate functionalities, component performance and design variations.


The characterization price will start at 4.000€ during the course of the PIX4Life project.




The packagings of the bare dies into a housing with electrical/optical connectors and additional interfaces (e.g. microfluidics, microlenses, etc.) will be coordinated through Ireland’s Tyndall National Institute through the European Photonic Packaging Pilot Line, PIXAPP.

The prices will vary depending on the complexity, starting at:


- Low-complexity: 900€/unit

- Mid-complexity: 1.450€/unit

- High-complexity: 2.250€/unit


More information on this at the PIXAPP website.