Process Flow Visualization

Schematic PIC device cross-sections are typically used during process design to visualize the entire process flow. Process Flow Visualization is a powerful tool inside OptoDesigner to do this work automatically. It calculates a 2D cross-section based on your process steps, material properties, and the position of masked areas. Process steps such as deposition and etching in the process flow description provide a realistic prediction of the cross-section after the process is executed.


  • Provides detailed visual representations of PIC devices during the process flow, including under-etching with profiles and non-vertical angles
  • Increases accuracy. Hand-drawn process flows are often based on simplifications and assumptions about real-life stages of the process flow. The OptoDesigner Process Flow Visualization tool eliminates the need for simplification and increases accuracy by accounting for detailed design information.
  • Enables fast validation of a mask layout and facilitates troubleshooting of problems such as under-etching due to the proximity of features on your mask design. Just define a slice of your mask layout and see what the resulting cross-section looks like.


Any semiconductor process using a combination of lithography, deposition, and etching can be automatically visualized. This applies to semiconductor processes to create photonic integrated circuits, microfluidics, and MEMS.


  • Comprehensive libraries of materials and semiconductor process steps
  • Technology models such as isotropic etch, directional deposition, CMP, wafer bonding, KOH etching, DRIE, etc.
  • Customizable databases of materials and their response to specific processes
  • Foundry-supplied PDKs
  • Tolerance analysis: vary key parameters (etching rates / deposition rates / selectivity) and quickly see the effect on your structure
  • Hierarchical process definition
  • Export results to bitmaps, animations, or HTML reports

Cross-section calculated from the process steps in Process Flow Visualization.

Left: a slice in the mask layout. Right: the calculated cross-section of this slice.