6 February 2020
VPIphotonics and Infinera cooperate to streamline design process for InP PICs
Infinera Corp of Sunnyvale, CA, USA, a vertically integrated manufacturer of digital optical network systems incorporating its own indium phosphide (InP)-based photonic integrated circuits (PICs), says that designers that want to use its InP open foundry services, part of the Infinera Optical Innovation Center, will now benefit from a new design workflow that starts from a graphical PIC design and system simulation environment. This workflow is enabled by the new VPItoolkit PDK Infinera — a pluggable toolkit extension to VPIcomponentMaker Photonic Circuits by adding the support of the process design kit (PDK) building blocks for the InP-based PIC foundry process offered by Infinera.
Simulation software provider VPIphotonics GmbH of Berlin, Germany and Infinera collaborated to develop compact models for the PDK building blocks based on the characterization data of the individual devices and the test measurements of fabricated chips. The foundry capability was developed in collaboration with the consortium AIM Photonics (American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics, an industry-driven public-private partnership advancing the USA’s photonics manufacturing capabilities) and the US Department of Defense. This ensures that each building block is represented by an adequate simulation model with only a few parameters to control. A designer can rapidly prototype application-specific PICs with prerequisite functionality without going deep into the details of device layout and fabrication process. Once the design is completed and optimized, the schematic can be exported to a netlist and passed to Infinera’s InP foundry for physical layout implementation, verification and fabrication.
All the building blocks available in VPItoolkit PDK Infinera can be used alongside a broad set of standard modules and instrumentation available in VPIphotonics Design Suite, especially VPIcomponentMaker Photonic Circuits (circuit-level design and analysis) and VPItransmissionMaker Optical Systems (system-level evaluation). Hierarchical circuit designs and advanced parameter scripting, sweep and optimization of parameters, sensitivity and yield analysis as well as systems benchmarking and characterization are supported transparently for designers, helping to increase their productivity.
Infinera says that, given its experience with manufacturing high-performance PICs, the foundry PDK offers fully optimized devices to ensure optimal performance and yield within the foundry’s integration platform (G. E. Hoefler et al., ‘Foundry Development of System-On-Chip InP-Based Photonic Integrated Circuits’, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, vol.25, no.5, p1-17, Sept-Oct. 2019, Art no. 6100317). The capability of embedding these building blocks into the VPIphotonics software framework enables the simulation and modeling of complex photonic integrated circuits with a high degree of reliability, adds the firm.