Aeponyx is a spin-off of SRDP Télécom, a Montreal-based enterprise that built remarkably vast dark fibre optic networks for commercial use. At that time, the CTO was looking for a way to use multiple wavelengths per fibre to boost the capacity of his networks. Aeponyx was founded upon a relationship with Korean manufacturers when he discovered fresh, innovative components which he used to implement a homemade solution for SRDP’s network.
The system was installed in a number of data centres, but the Aeponyx team quickly realised the market was too small and the system was not scalable enough to support a viable business case. At UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal), they, by chance, met two outstanding scientists who were working on the intriguing idea of combining Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) with Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs). This marked the start of the R&D activities and the shift towards PICS with MEMS through numerous collaborative R&D projects. Prior to recently introducing the technology to the market, Aeponyx spent the previous seven years developing it.
Aeponyx now employs about 38 people, has more than 34 patents in its portfolio (both granted and pending), and has raised more than CAD 42 million in fundraising (comprising an equal amount of equity and non-dilutive funding).
Aeponyx Leading The Way
The need for more data, bandwidth, and data centres is expanding continuously and quickly, and when you combine that with the evident madness surrounding AI and ChatGPT, you get a very dynamic degree of change with a pressing need to examine other options. Implementing fibre optic telecommunications within data centres and throughout the entire telecommunication network necessitates innovative architecture in data centres, new chip technologies, and an original viewpoint.
In order to meet some of the special technological needs in such an optical network, Aeponyx has created a novel method for making photonics chips and systems. They do not claim to meet all of the requirements, but their chips are now finding useful applications in these networks, notably as secure encrypted quantum telecommunications, tunable transceivers for fibre-to-the-home applications, and optical circuit switches inside data centres.
The Aeponyx team positions the business in the market for photonic integrated circuits. InP, SiPh, SiN, and other materials are now used in a number of commercial platforms that offer chips and applications to a number of sectors, including telecommunication, data centres, sensors, life science, quantum, etc. While some of the pioneers, like Intel, began in the early 2000s, Aeponyx began its adventure in that arena in 2015. They are the only company now merging Silicon Nitride with planar MEMS, and sure, they are elitists in their field. However, the fact that significant companies like Intel are launching PIC-based products on the market sent a strong message that PICS could hold its own.
This was advantageous for Aeponyx and provided access to the quantum space, data centres, and telecommunications.
Aeponyx’s team developed a platform for designing, fabricating, and packaging PICs. They didn’t just create a chip for a particular foundry. Within the MEMS foundries they are collaborating with, they had to specify the complete process flow for fabricating the chips. They now have the power to create completely new chip lines for a variety of uses.
Customer Focus At Its Finest
Aeponyx and his team have focused on product solutions that explicitly fill in holes on their own. When buyers visit the business, they discover a vertical approach to accelerating time to market. To cut down on the number of iterations and potential errors in their product development cycle, Aeponyx opened up their competencies and knowledge in the platform. After that, Aeponyx provides them with a route from prototyping to high-volume production.
AEPONYX Inc. has dealt with a variety of businesses of various sizes. They discovered a few possible goods and markets as soon as they began working on the technology. They then started the business development process to approach new clients, seeking out the greatest need and project sponsors.
The first application ended up being for a fibre-to-the-home application using the brand-new NG-PON2 protocol. The corporation acknowledges that starting this difficult application was not always straightforward. But with the help of a dedicated customer and their financiers, they plunged in.
Putting it together took longer than expected, but not too late as this type of product has not yet entered mass manufacturing, making it even harder for the competition as a whole. The good news, however, is that this development significantly advanced the Aeponyx technology portfolio, and the platform was able to mature for use with other, more complicated applications, such as sensors and quantum communication.
Additionally, Aeponyx and the crew are just starting another product roll-out with its ROCS ™ portfolio, and their clients already value their expertise and skill set in product development.
Product adoption can be time-consuming and lengthy.Cis employing the platform for applications where they are meeting the unfair advantage in the quantum domain while their first products make their way toward widespread adoption. In fact, Aeponyx is working with industry leaders to build chips for quantum communications and sensors in this extremely complicated field. Aeponyx is also organising its subsequent financing round. They had an unusual “making of”. It is thought that paying attention to the voyage is interesting.