Electro-Optic Co-Simulation of Photonic Integrated Circuits and Systems

In co-packaged optics, it is imperative to accurately simulate electronic and photonic circuits together in the same simulation. How will your PIC perform when deployed in a system? Look no further–Synopsys OptSim is here! Traditional electrical designers can now easily simulate and analyze photonics in the same, familiar flow.

Photonic integration is an answer to the ever-increasing bandwidth demands, energy efficiency, smaller footprint, and reliability. The adaptation of PICs is rapidly growing across the industry segments such as data centers, optical interconnects, automotive, sensing, aerospace & defense, artificial intelligence (AI) and photonic computing.

PICs are becoming complex and component count is increasing at a rapid pace. Co-packaged optics (CPO) are driving more complex trade-offs between electronics and photonics and gone are the primitive days when it was enough to model photonics as electronics in electrical circuit simulators.

With Synopsys OptSim, you can use the industry’s best electrical circuit simulators in conjunction with the most comprehensive photonic circuit simulator on the respective portions of the same chip within the familiar Synopsys OptoCompiler platform. 

Features & Benefits

PIC Design & Simulation Software

Synopsys OptSim provides an ideal, technology-agnostic simulator for modeling optical systems and photonic integrated circuits (PICs) that operate with coupling and feedback of different optical and electrical signal paths. While OptSim can be used as a standalone simulator with its own GUI, Synopsys OptoCompiler offers schematic-driven E-O co-design using OptSim and PrimeSim family of photonic and electrical circuit simulators for systems and circuits.

PIC Design & Simulation Software | Synopsys
PIC Design & Simulation Software | Synopsys

Foundry PDK-based WDM Photonic IC in OptoCompiler: From Design to Fabrication

Supports Simulation of Design Hierarchies

Extensive Library of Models

OptSim Elite Schematic | Synopsys
OptSim Elite Library | Synopsys

Synopsys OptSim supports the simulation of design hierarchies. Model bidirectional signal flow for both optical (single- and multi-wavelength) and electrical signals. Co-simulation with PrimeSim Continuum, which includes PrimeSim HSPICE and PrimeSim SPICE, and enables simulation of electronics in the PIC using industry leading electrical circuit simulators together with the simulation of photonic circuits. Additional features include:

  • Modeling capability for multipath interference (MPI), reflections and resonances from network and PIC elements
  • Measurement- and datafile-driven modeling of active and passive, photonic, and electronic components and circuits
  • PDK-driven PIC design including foundry and custom PDKs


In addition to supporting PIC design models and features of Synnopsys OptSim Circuit, OptSim provides a rich library of single- and multimode fiber-optic system design models thereby allowing testing a PIC at the system level. Measurement and plotting tools are supplied, such as optical and electrical scopes, signal, spectrum and eye diagram analyzers, Q-factor and BER estimators, power meters, etc. The intuitive representation of repeating and hierarchical elements in Synopsys OptSim provides brevity and efficiency to the layouts. For example, you can create custom components and organize and reuse them in the PIC layout. Synopsys OptSim libraries include:

  •  Bidirectional waveguides, couplers, and connectors
  • Modulators
  • Optical sources (lasers and VCSEL)
  • Photodiodes (PIN and APD)

Integrated with Synopsys PrimeWave Design Environment

Enhanced Visualization

OptSim Elite SAE View | Synopsys
OptSim Elite Waveforms View | Synopsys

Synopsys OptSim is integrated with Synopsys PrimeWave Design Environment for both electrical and photonic netlists allowing for the set-up of testbenches, specifying simulation engine and parameters, and performing scans and analyses. Synopsys OptSim supports PDKs from leading foundries, and co-simulation with MATLAB and other external tools.

Synopsys OptSim results and waveforms (logical, electrical, and optical) can be viewed via the PrimeWave Design Environment in both the PrimeWave and Synopsys OptSim Viewer. Benefits include:

  • Ability to evaluate the impact of post-layout routing parasitics and crosstalk on functional behavior of the circuit
  • A unified platform to evaluate and optimize the impact of PIC performance on the overall system
  • Powerful options for design setup, Monte Carlo analyses, data visualization, plotting and management of project resources


Supported Platforms

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6+ (64-bit) 

CentOS 6.6+ (64-bit)