ALTER UK awarded contract for project Co-Packaged Optics Development


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ALTER UK, part of the Digital & Semiconductor Business unit of TUV NORD, has been awarded a £750k contract by Innovate UK contract for CAPTIVATE, the development of a Co-Packaged Optical Transceiver for Space applications. This innovative project is one of 16 projects funded by the UKRI Future Telecommunications challenge. 

CAPTIVATE builds on Alter’s space-grade Optical Transceiver technology, capable of enabling high-capacity, multi-channel intra-satellite communications, first developed under the Horizon Europe-funded project SiPhodias. 

The development takes the core Photonics chipset of Alter’s existing Optical Transceiver and aims to mount it on a microelectronics substrate ready for system-in-package integration with an ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) or onboard processor. This blend of Photonics and Microelectronics design and assembly draws on over 200 years of combined experience in the semiconductor and photonics industries. 

This development enables a significant advancement in the satellite telecommunications market, where the growth of multimedia services is driving higher bandwidth demands. Photonic technology is critical in achieving the required high data rates while also reducing size, weight, power consumption, and, ultimately, cost. Alter’s approach to co-packaging photonic chips alongside high-speed ASICs ensures the smallest possible signal path between the pre-processing electronics and the Optical Transceiver. 

ALTER’s Commercial & Innovation Director, Matt Booker, commented,

We’re absolutely delighted with the support of Innovate UK to further develop our Optical Transceiver technology.  The integration of the photonics and microelectronics systems signifies a leap forward in miniaturisation and performance for our customers. 


ALTER UK are the leading provider of microelectronics and optoelectronics services in engineering, assembly, and test in space and harsh environment markets. Our company develops and offers complete turn-key solutions covering wafer testing, assembly, packaging, final test, and qualification. Our services also extend to equipment and systems testing and certification in fields like small satellites, drones, security, transport, nuclear. 


A“Making our world safer”. With over 14,000 employees, including more than 6,700 with a technical/scientific background, the TÜV NORD Group is one of the largest technical service providers in Germany. It also operates in over 70 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The Group owes its leading market position to its technical competence and a broad range of advisory, service, and testing services in the Mobility, Industrial Services, International, Natural Resources and Training and Human Resources fields.