Streamlined Design Process for Photonic Integrated Circuits Using SMART Photonics Technology Platform

Posted Feb 12, 2019 by

VPIphotonics and Luceda Photonics have streamlined the design process for Photonic Integrated Circuits manufactured using the SMART Photonics technology platform. Designers that use SMART Photonics technology will now benefit from a flow that starts from a graphical photonic integrated circuit design and system simulation environment which seamlessly couples to Python scripted layout and design capabilities for tape-out with a foundry-validated Process Design Kit (PDK).

Luceda’s IPKISS design platform combines circuit level design and simulation, layout and device CAD all based on Python scripting. Its SMART Photonics PDK allows designers to tape-out to the SMART Photonics foundry by means of a foundry validated PDK. VPIcomponentMaker Photonic Circuits is a professional simulation and design environment for large-scale photonic integrated circuits and offers a large mix of general-purpose photonic, electrical and optoelectronic device models. The library extension VPItoolkit PDK SMART v1.5 enables a layout-aware schematic-driven PIC design workflow and provides access to a broad set of available standard building blocks of the SMART PDK.

Users can now combine the best of both worlds by porting their schematic design to the Python based layout. By using the VPIcomponentMaker Photonic Circuits together with its add-on VPItoolkit PDK SMART, users can design and simulate the PIC within a complete system. They can then seamlessly generate the Python based layout of their circuit within the IPKISS platform using the foundry PDK and improve the yield and reliability of PIC design flow. The combined flow allows users to construct their own hierarchical and custom building blocks, effectively expanding the foundry PDK to fit individual needs. The advanced Python scripting interfaces of VPIcomponentMaker and IPKISS empower the intimate integration at any desired level.

According to Pieter Dumon, CTO of Luceda Photonics, the IPKISS design platform supports a growing number of PDKs from the major photonic IC foundries in silicon, dielectric and III-V technology. By making the validated SMART Photonics PDK available from within VPIcomponentMaker Photonic Circuits, organizations can now take a leap forward and create a design flow that is more reliable and scalable and that will enable them to consolidate their knowledge in a fast moving industry.

According to André Richter, General Manager of VPIphotonics, by adding support of the IPKISS design platform in VPItoolkit PDK SMART, which supported earlier the PhoeniX OptoDesigner and Nazca Design platforms already, they provide PIC designers with the first photonic design automation (PDA) environment that seamlessly integrates capabilities of four different layout design and circuit simulation tools. This enables fast cross-verification of designed circuits, provides easy access to strongest unique features of each tool, and makes an important step towards our common activities on standardization of PDA interfaces, required to avoid segmentation of the rapidly growing integrated photonics market.

Luceda Photonics wants photonic IC engineers to enjoy the same first-time-right design experience as electronic IC designers. Luceda Photonics’ tools and services are rooted in over 50 years of experience in photonic integrated circuit (PIC) design. The team’s expertise in the development of process design kits (PDK) and the design and validation of photonic integrated circuits is used by many of the top industry R&D teams and research organizations worldwide.

VPIphotonics sets the industry standard for end-to-end photonic design automation comprising design, analysis and optimization of components, systems and networks. It provides professional simulation software addressing demands in integrated photonics and fiber optics, optical transmission links and networks.