OptoDesigner Photonic Chip and Mask Layout

Design Rule Checking Module

The OptoDesigner Design Rule Checking (DRC) module provides powerful capabilities to verify PIC designs prior to sending mask data to foundries.

OptoDesigner supports several ways to automatically verify PIC designs:

  • You can define checks inside your own building blocks
  • The foundry can implement checks in the PDK
  • OptoDesigner can perform automated checks on your design, such as width and radius checks for the waveguides

The Design Rule Checking Module can perform an extensive number of additional checks on the final mask data in the GDS file, ranging from single-layer rules such as the minimum feature size to rules that apply to multiple mask layers.


  • Fewer PIC design mistakes resulting in faster design cycles and lower costs
  • Reduced number of mask data iterations with foundries. Foundries typically perform their own DRC checks before they accept mask data. Using similar design rule checks in OptoDesigner, you can reduce or even eliminate the number of iterations with foundries
  • Be in control of your own design rule checks to improve design efficiency
  • The OptoDesigner PDKs for most foundries already contain design rule checks. The Design Rule Checking 


DRC is a standard step in the design flow for electronic IC design. This is now becoming a common practice for PICs, where it is important for the DRC engine to process curvilinear shapes, in contrast to the traditional Manhattan patterns in electronics.


  • 18 types of rules that are simple to configure
  • Rules can act on a single layer or on a combination of layers; for example, minimum distance between A and B
  • Interactive dialog to manage the different DRC errors
  • Predefined examples for a wide range of cases
  • Grouping capability. You can define and execute groups of your Design Rule Checks so you do not have to perform all the checks when you run DRC. You can target specific groups and work faster
  • The Design Rule Checks work under all angles and are not limited to traditional electronic Manhattan types of design


Figure 1. DRC for the minimum distance between two objects.

Figure 2. DRC on curvy structures, without false errors