Silicon photonics is the buzzword of the future. As the fiber-optic industry picks up steam, process engineers ask for better packaging automation options. Faster alignment systems for waveguides, collimated beams and confocal optical trains (COTs) are required to keep pace. Parallel kinematic motion systems and compact piezo scanners along with new digital control and alignment algorithms provide answers to many of the questions asked by today’s fiber-optics design engineers.