News › Jen­op­tik recei­ves Thu­rin­gia Inno­va­tion Award 2022 for opto-elec­tro­nic UFO Probe®Card

On Novem­ber 30, Jen­op­tik was awarded the Thu­rin­gia Inno­va­tion Prize 2022 in the »Indus­try & Mate­ri­als« cate­gory for its novel opto-elec­tro­nic probe card for PIC wafer test­ing at a cerem­ony held in Wei­mar, Ger­many. The pho­to­nics com­pany impres­sed the expert jury with its well-thought-out approach to sol­ving the incre­asing demand for pho­to­nic tech­no­lo­gies in the elec­tro­nics and semi­con­duc­tor industries.

With this inno­va­tive test solu­tion, Jen­op­tik pro­vi­des an important buil­ding block for the expan­sion of the test infra­struc­ture for pho­to­nic inte­gra­ted cir­cuits (PICs) as part of the wafer manu­fac­tu­ring pro­cess. This inno­va­tion has now also con­vin­ced the jury of the Thu­rin­gia Inno­va­tion Award, which awarded the Jen­op­tik pro­duct among the top 20 nomi­nees with the 20,000 euros Inno­va­tion Award in the Indus­try & Mate­ri­als category.

With the UFO Probe® Card, elec­tro­nic as well as opti­cal com­pon­ents on wafers can be tes­ted simul­ta­neously with just one probe card – wit­hout actively set­ting up on each indi­vi­dual chip. »The goal was to create a simple solu­tion that can be inte­gra­ted into exis­ting test infra­struc­ture and is spe­ci­fi­cally desi­gned for high-volume wafer manu­fac­tu­ring,« said Tobias Gnausch, UFO Probe® Card pro­duct mana­ger in Jenoptik’s Advan­ced Pho­to­nic Solu­ti­ons divi­sion. »Cost per chip is an important aspect, espe­ci­ally in volume pro­duc­tion. Being able to make a state­ment quickly and effi­ci­ently there as to whe­ther the large num­ber of chips on the wafer are good or bad parts is a major com­pe­ti­tive advan­tage,« Gnausch continues.

Room for innovation 

Chip manu­fac­tu­r­ers as well as test hou­ses for pho­to­nic inte­gra­ted cir­cuits bene­fit from the UFO Probe® tech­no­logy, which is an alter­na­tive to com­mon solu­ti­ons, espe­ci­ally for use in high-volume manu­fac­tu­ring. »With the deve­lo­p­ment of the UFO Probe® Card, we were able to demons­trate that even estab­lished indus­trial com­pa­nies like Jen­op­tik can deve­lop inno­va­tions with a dis­rup­tive cha­rac­ter and bring them to mar­ket. Per­so­nally, I am very proud of the many dedi­ca­ted employees who take advan­tage of the frame­work con­di­ti­ons that pro­mote inno­va­tion and also the space for visi­ons,« said Dr. Ralf Kusch­ne­r­eit, Head of the Advan­ced Pho­to­nic Solu­ti­ons division.

XXV. Thu­rin­gia Inno­va­tion Award 2022

The prize is jointly offe­red by the Thu­rin­gian Minis­try of Eco­nomy, Busi­ness and Digi­tal Society, the Foun­da­tion for Tech­no­logy, Inno­va­tion and Rese­arch Thu­rin­gia (STIFT), TÜV Thü­rin­gen e.V. and the Ernst Abbe Foun­da­tion. The patron of the com­pe­ti­tion is Wolf­gang Tie­fen­see, Thuringia’s Minis­ter of Eco­no­mics, Sci­ence and Digi­tal Society. With prize money tota­ling 100,000 euros, it is one of the most highly endo­wed state inno­va­tion pri­zes in Germany.

The prize is awarded annu­ally in the cate­go­ries »Tra­di­tion & Future,« »Indus­try & Mate­ri­als,« »Digi­tal & Media« and »Light & Life. In addi­tion, a »Spe­cial Prize for Young Com­pa­nies« is awarded across all cate­go­ries to honor the work of young Thu­rin­gian com­pa­nies in par­ti­cu­lar and to sup­port them in their fur­ther development.