Rockley Photonics expands manufacturing services with SkyWater Technology

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SkyWater Technology and Rockley Photonics, a UK silicon photonics technology company, have broadened their relationship to include wafer back-end-of-line processing for Rockley’s spectrophotometer-on-a-chip health monitoring solution.

The expanded relationship with SkyWater, which is part of the multi-sourcing efforts at Rockley, will enhance Rockley’s manufacturing network reliability and scalability.

Rockley,a leading integrated photonics chipset developer and module supplier, has been using SkyWater’s Advanced Technology Services through the development phase, transitioned to production Wafer Services for front-end processing, and is now using back-end-of-line assembly capabilities at SkyWater’s advanced packaging facility in Florida.

SkyWater’s Technology as a Service (TaaS) model looks to combine process R&D, wafer fabrication, and advanced packaging technology services in order to provide customers with greater supply chain transparency, robust IP protection, and an accelerated time to market.

“SkyWater provides us with a domestic US source for advanced wafer-level components which is a critical part of our multi-source supply chain strategy. As we target high-volume consumer and industrial applications, deepening our connection with SkyWater is an important step in expanding our manufacturing ecosystem,” said Dr. Andrew Rickman, chief executive officer and founder of Rockley Photonics. “The expansion of our strong, multi-year relationship with SkyWater is evidence of our shared vision for Rockley’s unique silicon photonics platform.”

Commenting Thomas Sonderman, SkyWater's president and CEO said, “Rockley’s innovative silicon photonics platform is an important breakthrough in the fast-growing health wearables market and aligns with SkyWater’s market strategy, extending our value chain for this application space. We’re excited to be Rockley’s strategic supplier in the US to provide them with both front-end and back-end-of-line solutions to help Rockley bring its transformational technology to market.”

While many of today’s wearable consumer electronic devices use green light-emitting diodes to monitor heart rate, Rockley’s infrared spectrophotometers can detect and monitor a much wider range of biomarkers, which could dramatically increase the functionality of wearable devices.

By enabling the measurement of biomarkers previously undetectable by consumer devices using noninvasive technologies, Rockley expects to be able to overcome the key challenges associated with mobile wellness monitoring.

Rockley’s“clinic-on-the-wrist” digital health sensor system has been developed to provide wearable devices with a new range of sensing capabilities that includes continuous, non-invasive monitoring of multiple biomarkers: core body temperature, blood pressure, body hydration, alcohol level, lactate, and glucose, among others.

Featuring a wristband that contains the sensor module and communicates with custom cloud-based analytical engines (via a Rockley smartphone app), the company's full-stack sensing solution is seen as helping to revolutionize consumer health and wellness.