AIM Photonics SiP Process Design Kit v4.0

Optical Solutions Editorial Team

Apr 06, 2020 / 2 min read

Introduction to the New PDK for PIC Design

Synopsys and Analog Photonics are pleased to announce that a new, sign-off ready process design kit (PDK) based on Analog Photonics’ silicon photonics (SiP) design library is now available for the Synopsys PIC Design Suite, which includes the OptSim Circuit and OptoDesigner tools complemented with Synopsys’ physical verification solution IC Validator.

Synopsys is accelerating the adoption of photonic and PIC technologies with our comprehensive Photonic Solutions design portfolio, which includes the RSoft™ Photonic Device Tools, the Photonic System Tools, and the PIC Design Suite for photonic integrated circuit (PIC) design. Offering the industry’s only seamless design flow, the Synopsys Photonic Solutions portfolio enables innovations in consumer and industrial communication, sensing, and imaging applications – from concept to manufacturing.

The PIC Design Suite offers photonic-aware physical layout capabilities enabled by support for foundry-specific PDKs. PDKs provide a crucial link between photonic circuit simulation and layout tools by supporting efficient design concept verification, signoff checks, and mask generation.

The AIM/Analog Photonics SiP PDK (AP_SUNY PDK) contains the building blocks for circuit simulation and layout generation as developed by Analog Photonics and mask layers, and design rules for the Multi Project Wafer (MPW) runs offered by AIM Photonics at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute facilities. The PDK enables designers to develop PICs covering a wide range of passive and active photonic applications, including telecom, datacom, RF photonics, chem/bio sensors, and radar.

Version 3.5 of the PDK introduced statistical models for key passive and active components. OptSim Circuit natively supports Monte Carlo simulations with the implemented statistical models that are provided by Analog Photonics. By automatically calculating parameter variations and system performance metrics, OptSim Circuit has all the capabilities required to optimize PIC designs for manufacturing.

Features of the Updated AP_SUNY PDK

Key updates in version 4.0a of the AP_SUNY PDK include:

  • Improved statistical device models for circuit simulation. Several device models have been improved, resulting in more accurate representation of chip behavior. The enhanced statistical modeling allows PIC designers to more accurately explore the impact of manufacturing variations on the performance and tunability of their PICs, thereby leading to more successful tape-outs and reduced design times.
  • Addition of the design rule checking (DRC) deck for sign-off with IC Validator (ICV). ICV leverages EDA sign-off capabilities with dedicated photonics rules to improve DRC runtime significantly and shortening the design cycle closure to days instead of weeks.

Expert Opinions and Industry Impact

“Our PDK provides a large suite of components including, but not limited to, 100G capable modulators and detectors,” said Dr. Erman Timurdogan, Director of PDK Development at Analog Photonics. “With PDK v4.0, users have access to statistical models of these components based on the experimental data. The statistical models allow for prediction of the performance, yield, and corner analysis without spending the time and money to fabricate and test it.”

“The latest PDK from Analog Photonics provides enhanced predictive models for efficient design of SiP-based PICs,” said Tom Walker, group director of Synopsys’ Photonic Solutions. “The statistical behavior models can be used in early product development phases for first-time-right design. OptSim Circuit users can optimize PIC designs using statistical models from the AP_SUNY PDK to support applications that use high-performance photonic ICs.”

Synopsys' Comprehensive PIC Foundry Support

Synopsys Photonic Solutions provide the most comprehensive PIC foundry support in the industry, with PDKs available from foundries around the world for photonic processes such as silicon, silicon nitride, indium phosphide, polymers, and silica-on-glass. The PIC Design Suite has enabled more than 1,500 tapeouts.

Obtaining PIC Foundry PDKs

Our solutions are used by many designers around the world to access MPW services and to work directly with R&D facilities and commercial foundries. PDKs can be obtained from the foundry of your choice. Contact if you need assistance.

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