PIC Design Suite

From concept to manufacture. One integrated flow with one support channel.

Synopsys PIC Design Suite with OptSim Circuit and OptoDesigner Tools

Synopsys is driving the photonic integrated circuit (PIC) revolution with design automation solutions for a wide range of application requirements, from data communications to sensors and biomedical devices.

Synopsys’ PIC Design Suite – photonic integrated circuit design software that includes the OptSim Circuit and OptoDesigner tools – offers a seamless PIC design flow from concept to manufacturable design, as well as access to a single, world-class support channel.

  • The PIC Design Suite’s design, simulation, and mask layout implementation capabilities for PICs provide a modular and synergistic integration towards first-time-right fabrication.
  • OptSim Circuit supports the design and optimization of PIC functionality.
  • OptoDesigner has photonic-aware physical layout capabilities to synthesize PIC layouts for fabrication.
  • The PIC Design Suite enables both PDK-driven and custom design, and supports the widest portfolio of foundries offering MPW access. The PIC Design Suite integrates with the RSoft Photonic Component Design Suite, Synopsys HSPICE, and Sentaurus TCAD tools for cohesive, precise simulations of photonic and optoelectronic components and provides co-simulation of electronic and photonic circuits.

What's New

The latest release of the Photonic Solutions portfolio enables more efficient development of applications ranging from light sources and metalenses to optical communication systems and PICs.

Photonic Device Design

The RSoft photonic device tools comprise the industry's widest portfolio of simulators for passive and active devices in optical communications and optoelectronics. New features in version 2019.09 include:

  • The RSoft - LightTools Bidirectional Scattering Distribution Function (BSDF) interface for multi-domain device simulation now supports faster ray tracing of user-defined optical properties; it also supports non-uniform incident angles for more efficient use of computer resources in critical angular regions.
  • A new interface with OptoDesigner allows users to load and simulate PIC design files directly in the RSoft CAD Environment.
  • New Python APIs help construct CAD files for complex structures, such as metalenses and grating couplers.
  • An expanded Custom PDK Utility allows users to add to a PDK active device models such as phase shifters and modulators; it also enables users to design and create layouts for custom circuits such as ring modulators in OptSim Circuit and OptoDesigner.

Photonic System Design

The OptSim and ModeSYS tools simulate the performance of optical communication system links through comprehensive simulation techniques and component models. New features in release 2019.09 include:

  • The ability to simulate design files in multiple OptSim windows simultaneously, as well as to pre-assign signal types to compound component input and output ports.
  • New application notes and design files to jumpstart designs for BPSK modulation, visible light communication, and 100GBASE-SR4 SWDM4 transmission.

Photonic Integrated Circuit Design

New features in version 2019.09 of our PIC Design Suite, which includes the OptSim Circuit and OptoDesigner tools, are:

  • Enhanced algorithms for inter-domain conversions (time and frequency) in OptSim Circuit that speed simulation times by up to 2x.
  • New design rule checks (DRCs) in OptoDesigner that speed calculations by up to 20x.
  • Significant improvements to the PIC layout versus schematic (LVS) flow to support large port count photonic devices and netlist extraction.
  • Updates to the bidirectional interface between OptSim Circuit and OptoDesigner to support automated electrical connections in layout.

RSoft Photonic Component Design Suite

Version 2019.03 Updates

The Custom PDK Utility has been enhanced with the following new features:

  • Supports the creation of polarization-dependent S-matrices and OptSim Circuit models. The utility is now able to scan polarization as well as wavelength, and automatically generates the appropriate files for the polarization-dependent OptSim Circuit model.

  • Allows automated generation of specialized custom PDK elements for waveguides and related components such as waveguide bends. This functionality uses the explicit waveguide/bend model built into OptSim Circuit, which utilizes Neff vs. wavelength data, allowing for the length dependence of the waveguide/bend to be handled analytically. This feature can also be combined with RSoft parametric S-matrix capabilities, allowing for the creation of waveguide/bend models that are parametrized over multiple design parameters in addition to the length. For improved interoperability between Synopsys’ RSoft OptSim Circuit and OptoDesigner tools, this new feature also automatically generates an OptoDesigner .script file utilizing the native OptoDesigner straight waveguide/arc elements.

RSoft Photonic System Design Suite

Version 2019.03 Updates

New features in OptSim, ModeSYS, and OptSim Circuit include:

  • OptSim
    • Support for probabilistic constellation shaping for coherent systems
    • Miscellaneous improvements and bug fixes
  • ModeSYS
    • New models for large-core fiber-based systems: Large-Core Fiber Injection, Large-Core Fiber Bend, and Large-Core Detector Coupler
    • Miscellaneous improvements and bug fixes
  • OptSim Circuit
    • New bidirectional interface with OptoDesigner
    • Parametric Spice netlist generation for layout-versus-schematic verification (LVS) with OptoDesigner and IC Validator
    • Support for probabilistic constellation shaping for coherent systems
    • Support for DemoFab PDK

OptSim Circuit

OptSim Circuit is an ideal platform for modeling and optimizing performance of PICs at the system level. The interface between OptSim Circuit and OptoDesigner provides users with a seamless path from PIC design to mask layout.


With a flexible and integrated environment focused on manufacturable designs, OptoDesigner enables efficient, high-quality PIC device development.

Key capabilities include:

  • Photonic chip and mask layout
    • Powerful scripting capabilities support creation of the design intent; automation tools transform the design intent into a mask layout
  • OptoDesigner advanced connectors and autorouting
    • Phase-aware waveguide generation using computed optical lengths from foundry-specified data
    • Automatic phase-insensitive waveguide and metal routing for assembling complex circuits
  • OptoDesigner simulation modules
    • Simulation engines used to optimize layout for phase, polarity, dispersion, loss, etc.  
    • Also used to analyze impact of temperature and lattice stress on performance of given layout structures
  • Photonic design verification
    • Design rule checking enables verification of design and manufacturing rules for photonic curvilinear layouts

Learn More About the OptoDesigner Tools