Cadence Design Systems has worked with Lumerical Solutions and PhoeniX Software to develop a flow for designing photonic ICs based on the Virtuoso custom-design platform.
The electronic/photonic design automation (EPDA) allows the overall design to be captured schematically and then use Virtuoso Analog Design Environment to simulate the design with the help of Lumerical’s Interconnect, a time- and frequency-domain mixed-signal photonic circuit simulation engine similar to SPICE designed specifically to account for the multi-mode, multi-channel circuits prevalent in integrated photonics. The integration with Virtuoso is intended to offer interactive analysis, design and parameterization for fast exploration of photonic IC layouts, including yield analysis.
Photonic IC mask layout is more complex than with conventional analog designs because photonic components and circuits are sensitive to geometry and need the ability to use arbitrary angles for routing and device shape. PhoeniX Software’s OptoDesigner photonic chip design suite is available within the Virtuoso environment, giving designers access to all OptoDesigner parameterized primitives and photonic building blocks that enable interactive or scripted waveguide and component creation.
To help populate photonic PDK compact model libraries or to create a simulation model for a custom device, the integration can also support model parameter extraction of passive and active components from the Virtuoso physical layout using a variety of solver engines.
“Integrated photonics will only reach its potential if designers can confidently and reliably design, model and optimize their systems using the familiar workflows of analog and mixed-signal IC design tools,” said Bill De Vries, director of product marketing at Lumerical. “Lumerical’s integration with the Virtuoso environment creates a PDK-driven design flow where circuit designers can use integrated photonics technology alongside electronics to address complex applications without first having to design and optimize fundamental active and passive elements.”
Wilbur Luo, senior group director of product management in Cadence’s custom IC and PCB group, added: “By collaborating with Lumerical and PhoeniX Software, we are jointly delivering an integrated platform that can drive the widespread deployment of cost-effective, high-performance optical links in datacenters and wide area optical networks to meet the increasing traffic demands from mobility, video, data, and cloud services.”