daily coverage of the optics & photonics industry and the markets that it serves
Press Releases

Lumerical’ s CML Compiler Automates Development of Model Libraries for Photonic PDKs

Date Announced: 06 Mar 2019

New photonic PDK development utility is critical tool for foundries, IP developers and designers.

San Diego, CA -- Lumerical Inc., a leading developer of photonic design and simulation tools, announces the immediate availability of CML Compiler, which enables foundries and IP developers to automate the creation, QA testing, and revision control of photonic compact model libraries (CMLs). CML Compiler allows photonic CML developers to develop high-quality photonic model libraries for use in Lumerical’s photonic integrated circuit simulation environment, INTERCONNECT, and with popular Verilog-A simulators.

A key step in the transition of photonics from research to commercial production is the delivery of photonic foundries’ technology to their customers through photonic process design kits (PDKs). Photonic PDKs typically contain simulation models, schematic symbols, and the layout geometries for a key set of passive and active components specific to the sourcing foundry for use with popular photonic and EDA design tools. Customers who design with a foundry PDK are assured that the resultant design can be manufactured at that foundry. Fully established in electronics, PDKs are a relatively new development in photonics so foundries and photonic design tool companies have been teaming up to develop and deliver them.

To date, the most challenging aspect of photonics PDKs has been delivering accurate compact model libraries for system simulation. Data formats and exchange mechanisms have been ad hoc, resulting in varying levels of quality and lengthy development cycles.

CML Compiler resolves this issue by defining a specific data schema, which accepts multiple data formats common to foundries including JSON and MathWorks’ .mat, and by rapidly producing the complete set of models typical in a foundry PDK for both Lumerical INTERCONNECT and for compliant Verilog-A simulators from leading EDA vendors. Data derived from simulations, using for example Lumerical’s own leading simulation tools, and experimental data is accepted as input. To enable sharing while simultaneously protecting the foundry’s intellectual property, the models produced by CML Compiler are encrypted uniquely to the sourcing foundry.


James Pond, CTO of Lumerical commented, “Over the past couple of years, we have built significant experience as foundries look to us to develop the models for their photonics components. We have put the knowledge we have gained into CML Compiler so that foundries can leverage it without building up and training large modeling teams.

"To address the distinct users active within PIC development, we have designed CML Compiler to produce both INTERCONNECT photonic models and their Verilog-A counterparts, which allows design teams to work in their simulator of choice, appropriate for their stage of the design cycle, while having confidence that the models have been built from the same underlying data.”

CML Compiler also simplifies the substantial task of model quality assurance (QA) by using a well-defined data schema and providing the test cases for the produced models, another substantial time saver for the foundry. CML Compiler provides test automation by generating and automatically running test cases in the circuit simulator to QA test that the models perform as specified.

AIM Photonics

CML Compiler has been in use internally at Lumerical for nearly two years and has been utilized successfully to generate production PDKs for such foundries as AIM Photonics, imec, CompoundTek, and TowerJazz and others. Lumerical is now making the proven CML Compiler available to foundries, IP providers and end users for their direct use.


Lumerical Inc
1700 - 1095 West Pender Street
Vancouver, BC
V6E 2M6
T:+ 1 604 733-9006
F: +1 604 733 3188

E-mail: info@lumerical.com

Web Site: https://www.lumerical.com

Copyright © 2019 SPIE EuropeDesigned by Kestrel Web Services