Shining the light on progress: Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre breaks ground on new cutting-edge expansion

- Ottawa, Ontario

A bulldozer in a construction site on a sunny day with a forest in the background full of brightly coloured fall leaves.

Construction of the new CPFC building started in Ottawa on September 18, 2023.

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) recently broke ground on a major construction project that will modernize its Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre (CPFC) by adding capacity and capability for research, innovation and commercialization. The centre is a semiconductor fabrication facility that produces unique photonic components. These components generate, modulate, amplify and receive high-speed optical signals over fibre optic networks and are crucial for high-speed data transmission in data centres.

In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada provided $90 million to the NRC to update some of the fabrication centre's existing equipment and expand its current space. An additional $25 million was allocated through the NRC's Office of Facilities Renewal Management Program. These investments aim to increase the Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre's capacity as Canada's only pure play compound semiconductor foundry and enhance its ability to better meet Canadian and global client demand.

As part of the modernization, the NRC is expanding the facility to improve critical processes for next-generation optical components, meet growing demand and see outdated equipment replaced to better support the telecommunications supply chain. Construction began in September 2023 on the new 7,500 square-foot building, which will include a modern clean room, a gowning room and a wastewater collection system to reduce the fabrication centre's environmental footprint. It will have the ability to host 2 new metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactors for additional capacity for epitaxial growth with more precise control. During construction of the new facility, the fabrication centre will remain open, with no impact on operations or client deliverables.

Check back soon for more updates about the Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre.

The 3D rendering shows the location of the new facility, directly attached to the current buildings.

A 3-D rendering illustrating the new CPFC building.

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