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OpenLight launches PDK for ‘unified electronic and photonic platform’

24 Nov 2022

Process Design Kit is said to enable rapid PIC designs with on-chip laser technology.

OpenLight Photonics, based in Goleta, California, has announced the general availability of its process design kit (PDK)o streamline the end-to-end design of photonic integrated circuits (PICs) and meet future demands of applications including datacom, telecom, LiDAR, healthcare, HPC, AI, and optical computing.

The OpenLight PDK is ready to be used with the Synopsys photonic IC design solution, and includes indium phosphide active optical elements on-chip that can be directly used by Synopsys OptoCompiler™ and simulated with the Synopsys OptSim™ photonic simulator, providing customers with a superior method to create PICs with optical amplifiers, on-chip lasers, and high-speed, low-loss modulators tailored to their design requirements.

Users can access an extensive library of tested and proven photonic components to enhance first-time PIC success and deliver more reliable design and fabrication. The technology has passed qualification and reliability tests on Tower Semiconductor’s silicon photonics production flow (PH18DA).

‘Next-generation photonic ICs’

“We strongly believe in the ability of OpenLight's technology implemented in Tower's foundry platform to push the envelope and enable the next generation of photonic IC products,” commented Dr. Marco Racanelli, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Tower Semiconductor's Analog Business Unit.

“With PDKs now available, mutual customers can benefit from access to this advanced technology through an open foundry model. Results of PICs fabricated to date are impressive and the PDK announced here will speed up further PIC innovation from the industry as designers confidently develop and bring to market new products faster with on-chip lasers and optical amplifiers.”

Synopsys supports OpenLight's PDK through Synopsys OptoCompiler, bridging the gap between photonic experts and IC designers to make photonic designs as productive as electronic designs. Synopsys OptoCompiler is a complete end-to-end design, verification, and signoff solution for photonic ICs.

The solution combines specific capabilities for photonic design with industry-proven electronic design methods in a unique, unified platform to make photonic IC design accessible, fast, and flexible.

“The combination of Synopsys' industry-leading photonic IC design solution and OpenLight's integrated laser technology in one cohesive platform empowers teams to design real-world PICs in a way that has never been done before,” said Aveek Sarkar, Vice President of Engineering at Synopsys. "We look forward to supporting mutual customers together with Tower and OpenLight to accelerate adoption of silicon photonics with integrated lasers.”

“Until now, there has never been an open silicon photonics platform with active on-chip optical elements,” said Dr. Thomas Mader, Chief Operating Officer at OpenLight. “We are discovering the extent to which integrated lasers can reduce barriers to entry and transform the way teams design PICs for a large variety of applications.”

OpenLight launched as an independent company in June 2022, introducing what it calls the world’s first open silicon photonics platform with integrated lasers. The company is already seeing success among customers with its first 400G and 800G reference designs with integrated lasers made available this summer.

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