The European Photonics Industry Consortium (EPIC) has recognized Torsten Vahrenkamp, CEO and co-founder of ficonTEC, as the recipient of the EPIC CEO Award 2021. Vahrenkamp co-founded the company with CFO Matthias Trinker.
With a workforce of 200, and operations in China, Thailand, US, Estonia and Germany, ficonTEC has become a global leader for advanced automation production systems for the assembly and test of optoelectronic and photonic integrated circuit (PIC) devices. ficonTEC has an install of roughly 1000 systems serving integrated photonics applications in telecom and datacom sectors, for 5G infrastructure, in 3D sensing for smartphone, automotive and aerospace applications, and high-power diode laser assembly.
According to EPIC CTO, Jose Pozo, the selection of ficonTEC has a lot to do with the company’s willingness to embrace “collaborative innovation,” with some of its recent collaborations occurring within photonic device integration and for wafer-level testing of PICs.
Pozo presented the award as part of a video interview (shown above), which includes discussions around the ficonTEC’s journey including its ongoing internal and externally collaborative R&D initiatives as well as its current foray into LiDAR.
"If you look into the details of what Lidar is about, it's exactly what we do for the other markets. To build a LiDAR machine, a high-power laser machine or telecommunication machine...it's the same," says Vahrenkamp. "It's a different market with different customers you have to adapt to, but for us was obvious that it fits our market. Today, we are proud to already have the biggest LiDAR companies or future LiDAR companies as part of our customer portfolio."
LiDAR is still in the phase where companies like ficonTEC are enabling technology. "Going forward...you need to be ready to have a certain pricepoint either to have the speed or low price for the machine," Vahrenkamp tells Pozo. "I think it's another two to three years out."
EPIC CEO Award 2021 goes to Torsten Vahrenkamp
Video Credit: ficonTEC Service GmbH