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 – OptSim Elite 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 OptSim Elite, 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 OptoCompiler platform. 

Features & Benefits

PIC Design & Simulation Software

OptSim provides an ideal, technology-agnostic platform for modeling optical systems and photonic integrated circuits (PICs) that operate with coupling and feedback of different optical and electrical signal paths. The award-winning OptSim graphical user interface (GUI) offers a more natural user experience to test and optimize performance of PICs at the system level.

Foundry PDK-based schematic in OptSim Circuit to generation of mask for fabrication: 
400G coherent transceiver PIC design

GDSII transceiver mask

Supports Simulation of Design Hierarchies

Extensive Library of Models

OptSim Elite Schematic | Synopsys
OptSim Elite Library | 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 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 OptSim provides brevity and efficiency to the layouts. For example, you can create custom components and organize and reuse them in the PIC layout. 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

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. OptSim supports PDKs from leading foundries, and co-simulation with MATLAB and other external tools.

OptSim results and waveforms (logical, electrical, and optical) can be viewed via the PrimeWave Design Environment in both the PrimeWave and 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

Design and manufacture a photonic integrated circuit

  • Schematic-driven functional design done in OptSim
  • Mask generation done in OptoDesigner
  • Process design kit (PDK) from foundry contains characterization at both circuit and layout abstraction levels
  • RSoft Photonic Device Tools can be used to enhance existing PDK, or build a new one


Supported Platforms

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6+ (64-bit) 

CentOS 6.6+ (64-bit)