Argotech: Photonics Packaging and More

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Martin Zoldak, CTO, Martin Tuma, Sales Director, ArgotechMartin Zoldak, CTO, Martin Tuma, Sales Director
The last 3-4 years saw an exponential rise in integrated photonics-based solutions in the semiconductor device market. According to MarketsandMarkets, the photonic devices market’s value is estimated at $593.7 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach $837.8 billion by 2025 with a CAGR of 7.14 percent. And while the packaging and manufacturing costs of photonics devices are quite high, their fast response times, better switching capabilities, and improved overall performance serve as suitable replacements for their more traditional, discrete counterparts in various sectors. In healthcare for instance, high sensitivity Photonic Integrated Chip (PIC)-based solutions were indispensable in accurately analyzing a patient’s health condition, something that’s challenging when using a traditional laser diode while keeping an affordable form factor and costs. Similarly, it is easier to use integrated photonic devices based on PICs than their discrete counterparts, for multiplexing wavelengths to generate broader communication bandwidths in the Telecom sector. The technology has already been available over the decade but just recently we can see the real demand on the market for ultrahigh speed solutions and wearable electronics which cannot be replaced by any alternative approach. As a result, various organizations are on the lookout for manufacturers who can produce highly efficient PIC-based devices that can improve their infrastructure. At the forefront of this photonics revolution is Argotech, a photonics and microelectronics packaging service provider that delivers packaging and assembly process solutions and PIC integration services for both SME companies as well as big enterprises.

The company has been formed as team of talents from succeeding photonics division of Infineon semiconductor company in 2006. The small group, now called Argotech, began providing packaging solutions but soon realized that alone was not sustainable for them in the long run. And so it began to deliver design services as well, with a small team of people with vast knowledge in photonic packaging and assembly processes. Today, the company has grown to house 70 people who are well-versed in the photonics and PIC packaging and related design process.

Argotech delivers its engineering services to its clients in one of two ways:
1: Consumers can come to the organization with just the idea of what the end product has to do. The company can then select the proper chips, cooperate with PIC designers and design the product to suit all of their needs.

2: The client can specify its requirements and provide own chips including PICs it wants to incorporate in the packaging. Argotech will then learn and adapt the specified design parameters and pack the chips accordingly in the end product. The company will also help them qualify their chips by performing various tests, including aging and reliability tests.

The client engagement process begins by creating a mechanical design of the packaging approach or product and then by designing the electrical layout where it defines the positions of all the electrical and photonics components. The organization has various software tools to develop the 3D-Finite Element Method (FEM) simulations of the final product that helps verify the viability of the design especially for high frequency performance (beyond 100GHz) and thermal management.

Argotech simultaneously offers a range of additional services to the customer when assembling and packaging their products. Depending on the application, it has a wide range of packaging technologies like die attach operating accuracy from ±1 micron including flip chip, full range of wire bonding processes including ribbons, hermetic sealing and several alignment processes for the optical coupling purposes. The enterprise even designs freespace optic coupling solutions, which involve adding lenses or other optical elements for the specific purposes of the end user product. Argotech utilizes the butt coupling approach to the same effect where it couples the optical fiber to the edge or gratings of the PIC.

Argotech takes the full responsibility of creating the product from initial design to final manufacturing effectively


After design and development, an important photonic component the laser chip needs to be tested and qualified independently on if it is a stand alone chip or integrated directly on the PIC (InP based) in order to grant the operational reliability in the final application. Argotech equips technological approach for large scale aging tests on the wafer level carriers of thousands chips at several conditions in order to get wide range of data for the reliable statistics of MTBF. Further it can grant pre-burn-in and testing of laser chips in final product at early stage of the packaging.
All in all, Argotech is a one-stop-shop of photonics-based packaging and serial manufacturing. It does not rely on any external design houses and can develop the product or package blueprints internally. As a result, it effectively takes full responsibility for creating the product from initial design to final manufacturing while secure the dedicated performance.



Argotech wishes to expand its influence worldwide in the coming years to continue providing the best photonics solution to the customer. It initially focused on Europe and the Middle East and is now looking to set up shop in the US and Canada markets and hopes to reach Eastern Countries like Japan and South Korea in the future. The organization grew organically in the last 15 years and has just witnessed accelerated growth in a previous couple of years and aims to continue the pace by reaching more people, working on more projects, and offering a more comprehensive range of services.

Argotech delivers its engineering services to its clients in one of two ways:

1: Consumers can come to the organization with just the idea of what the end product has to do. The company can then select the proper chips, cooperate with PIC designers and design the product to suit all of their needs.

2: The client can specify its requirements and provide own chips including PICs it wants to incorporate in the packaging. Argotech will then learn and adapt the specified design parameters and pack the chips accordingly in the end product. The company will also help them qualify their chips by performing various tests, including aging and reliability tests.

The client engagement process begins by creating a mechanical design of the packaging approach or product and then by designing the electrical layout where it defines the positions of all the electrical and photonics components. The organization has various software tools to develop the 3D-Finite Element Method (FEM) simulations of the final product that helps verify the viability of the design especially for high frequency performance (beyond 100GHz) and thermal management.

Argotech simultaneously offers a range of additional services to the customer when assembling and packaging their products. Depending on the application, it has a wide range of packaging technologies like die attach operating accuracy from ±1 micron including flip chip, full range of wire bonding processes including ribbons, hermetic sealing and several alignment processes for the optical coupling purposes. The enterprise even designs freespace optic coupling solutions, which involve adding lenses or other optical elements for the specific purposes of the end user product. Argotech utilizes the butt coupling approach to the same effect where it couples the optical fiber to the edge or gratings of the PIC.

After design and development, an important photonic component the laser chip needs to be tested and qualified independently on if it is a stand alone chip or integrated directly on the PIC (InP based) in order to grant the operational reliability in the final application. Argotech equips technological approach for large scale aging tests on the wafer level carriers of thousands chips at several conditions in order to get wide range of data for the reliable statistics of MTBF. Further it can grant pre-burn-in and testing of laser chips in final product at early stage of the packaging.
All in all, Argotech is a one-stop-shop of photonics-based packaging and serial manufacturing. It does not rely on any external design houses and can develop the product or package blueprints internally. As a result, it effectively takes full responsibility for creating the product from initial design to final manufacturing while secure the dedicated performance.

Argotech wishes to expand its influence worldwide in the coming years to continue providing the best photonics solution to the customer. It initially focused on Europe and the Middle East and is now looking to set up shop in the US and Canada markets and hopes to reach Eastern Countries like Japan and South Korea in the future. The organization grew organically in the last 15 years and has just witnessed accelerated growth in a previous couple of years and aims to continue the pace by reaching more people, working on more projects, and offering a more comprehensive range of services.
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Argotech

Company
Argotech

Headquarters
Náchod, Czech Republic

Management
Martin Zoldak, CTO, Martin Tuma, Sales Director

Description
Argotech is a photonics and microelectronics packaging service provider that not only delivers packaging and assembly process solutions to its clients but also engineering services to integrate the PICs into their operations

"Argotech takes the full responsibility of creating the product from initial design to final manufacturing effectively"

- Martin Zoldak, CTO, Martin Tuma, Sales Director