Photonic integrated circuits (PICs) are considered as the way to make photonic systems or subsystems cheap and ubiquitous. PICs still are several orders of magnitude more expensive than their microelectronic counterparts, which has restricted their application to a few niche markets. Recently, a novel approach in photonic integration is emerging which will reduce the R&D and prototyping costs and the throughput time of PICs by more than an order of magnitude. It will bring the application of PICs that integrate complex and advanced photonic functionality on a single chip within reach for a large number of small and larger companies and initiate a breakthrough in the application of Photonic ICs. The paper explains the concept of generic photonic integration technology using the technology developed by the COBRA research institute of TU Eindhoven as an example, and it describes the current status and prospects of generic InP-based integration technology.
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