Cloud native EDA tools & pre-optimized hardware platforms
A Process Design Kit (PDK) is a library of basic photonic components generated by the foundry to give open access to their generic process for fabrication.
Designers can design a wide variety of photonic integrated circuits (PICs) using the photonic components of the foundry, which are technically and geometrically represented in their Process Design Kits.
A PDK can be compared to a set of building blocks, where each photonic component in the library is a separate block. A designer can use these blocks to build many types of photonic circuits for various applications. A generic technology is useful for reducing costs when the designer is using predefined, tested photonic components on the material platform of their choice.
A designer can also create his or her own building blocks, but the designer must follow the fabrication rules of the foundry to be able to use a custom component from a particular foundry. Among others, the rules usually include:
- Material stack (types of layers and thickness)
- Minimum distance between optical components (like gaps between waveguides)
- Maximum etching depths
- Metallization and electrical probes (how to place the metal, metal layers allowed)
- Feature size (size of waveguides, holes, active areas, etc.)