Photonics 2022 Special Edition

iXblue is on track to create a new European leader in photonics and quantum technologies. Its Photonics Division was already rich in two historical activities in the field of ultra-fast optical modulators based on lithium niobate technology and in the field of special optical fibers. It has known an important development in Spring 2021 with the acquisition of the two technological gems Muquans and Kylia.

MuQuans (μQuans), specialized in quantum sensors based on laser-cooled quantum manipulation techniques, is the first company to commercialize on an industrial scale a compact and transportable cold atoms gravimeter. MuQuans’ Absolute Quantum Gravimeters are now deployed and operational in various environments, such as volcanoes (Mount Etna), for permanent monitoring. MuQuans also offers Gradiometers and Atomic clocks. In addition its know-how led to the development of a new generation of compact and agile intelligent laser systems able to operate the emerging quantum technologies based on cold atoms, such as Quantum Computing.

As for Kylia, the company is internationally recognized for its expertise in the integration of complex photonics functions carried out by a dynamic and ultra-precise assembly of free-space optical components on micro-benches. The company develops components or subsystems both compact and extremely stable. Kylia’s portfolio offers a large range of wavelength filters for multiplexing/demultiplexing for telecom applications, but also a wide variety of optical delay lines, fixed or variable. Interferometers for the demodulation of modulation formats such as DPSK (Differential Phase Shift Keying) or even 90° hybrid circuits for complex phase-amplitude coding demodulations at very high bit rates (>100 Gb/s) are among the other Kylia’ flagship products.

All the photonics solutions offered by iXblue can now address a wide range of markets (sensors, fiber lasers, communication, metrology, quantum technologies, geosciences) and applications: distance measurements, automotive LIDAR, high-energy or high-power scientific laser facilities, industrial lasers (cutting, marking), optical communications, laser communications in space, time-frequency solutions, Quantum Key Distribution.

This external growth took place in the French New Aquitaine region, which offers a particularly favorable and dynamic photonics-oriented ecosystem. Synergies between our different photonics teams are being established. As such, space activity comes as an evidence. Indeed we have invested a lot of time and effort in this field in recent years. It is an opportunity to highlight our space qualified products, our know-how in hardening the components for the space environment, and proven project management that can be applied to each of our photonic activities.

Thus, our ambition lays clearly: to become a player in quantum technologies, particularly on key markets such as “Quantum Computing”, Quantum Key Distribution and quantum inertial sensors. With stronger and more established presence, the aim is to become a European leader in photonics.

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