VPIphotonics, Luceda Photonics partner for SMART Photonics focused photonic integrated circuit design

Design tool vendors VPIphotonics and Luceda Photonics have partnered on a combined approach to design Indium Phosphide photonic integrated circuits (PICs) for production via the SMART Photonics foundry. Designers can use software tools from the two firms to create a flow that runs from a graphical PIC design and system simulation environment through a Python-scripted layout and design environment for tape-out with a foundry-validated process design kit (PDK).

Feb 7th, 2019

Design tool vendors VPIphotonics and Luceda Photonics have partnered on a combined approach to design Indium Phosphide photonic integrated circuits (PICs) for production via the SMART Photonics foundry. Designers can use software tools from the two firms to create a flow that runs from a graphical PIC design and system simulation environment through a Python-scripted layout and design environment for tape-out with a foundry-validated process design kit (PDK). The recent announcement builds on a history of collaboration between the two companies (see, for example, "VPIphotonics, Luceda Photonics integrate tools for photonic circuit simulation and layout design").

The software tools include Luceda’s IPKISSdesign platform, which combines circuit-level design and simulation, layout, and device CAD based on Python scripting. Luceda also offers a SMART Photonics PDK to enable designers to tape out to the SMART Photonics foundry via a foundry validated PDK. VPIphotonics adds to these capabilities with its VPIcomponentMaker Photonic Circuitsplatform,a simulation and design environment for large-scale PICs that includes a variety of general-purpose photonic, electrical, and optoelectronic device models. The VPItoolkit PDK SMART v1.5library extension enables a layout-aware schematic-driven PIC design workflow, with access to the standard building blocks of the SMART PDK, says VPIphotonics.

When used together, PIC designers can use VPIcomponentMaker Photonic Circuitsand the VPItoolkit PDK SMARTadd-on to design and simulate the PIC within a complete system. The IPKISSplatform then enables seamless generation of the Python-based circuit layout using the foundry PDK. This improves the yield and reliability of the PIC design flow, the companies assert. The combined flow enables designers to construct their own hierarchical and custom building blocks to fit their needs, the two firms add.

“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 our 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,”says Pieter Dumon, CTO of Luceda Photonics.

“By adding support of the IPKISS design platform in VPItoolkit PDK SMART, which supported earlier the PhoeniX OptoDesigner and Nazca Design platforms already, we 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,” adds André Richter, general manager of VPIphotonics.

Eindhoven-based SMART Photonics offers foundry and production services focused primarily on Indium Phosphide based photonic components. The company’s services run from epitaxial growth and re-growth to processing, polishing, and dicing of wafers into chips.

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