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Silicon Photonics PDK Targets High Speed Comms

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New process design kit gives AIM Photonics' members access to PIC component libraries for developing 100G, 200G and 400G+ optical transceivers and systems

The American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics) and Analog Photonics (AP) has announced the release of the AP SUNY Process Design Kit v2.0a (APSUNY_PDKv2.0a).

In this release, Analog Photonics (AP) expanded the set of Silicon Photonics Integrated Circuit (PIC) component libraries within SUNY Poly's process to address the high-speed optical communication needs. Combined with Multi-Project Wafer (MPW) runs, this PDK will give AIM Photonics' members access to world-class silicon photonics components for the development of 100G, 200G and 400G+ optical transceivers or systems used in data centres, metro and long haul optical networks.

AIM CEO and SUNY Poly Vice President for Research Michael Liehr said: "AIM Photonics is laying a strong foundation for enabling next-generation photonics-based capabilities, and we anticipate that this latest PDK version will provide even further incentive for members of the photonics industry to collaborate with AIM Photonics to leverage the updated PDK, especially for high-speed communications technologies, and join the more than 80 signed members and additional interested collaborators from across the United States, including industrial, academic, and governmental members who have found incredible value in this growing national initiative."

The PDK includes a Silicon Photonics library of interfaces, passive, and active components, schematics and models for the development of optical modules and system.

The key features of the APSUNY_PDKv2.0a are:

· 50Gbps modulation with less than one volt peak to peak drive. Low voltage drive at high bandwidth is key to enable low power applications and work with CMOS/BiCMOS drivers.

· Digital detectors with greater than 45GHz bandwidth and high responsivity, ideal for C-band receivers.

· Both polarization support for standard and low-cost single mode fibers, eliminating the need for expensive polarization maintaining fibers.

· Lower loss crossings and propagation with seamless dielectric transitions and <1% mismatch between the outputs of a 3dB splitter, leading to a high common mode rejection ratio (CMRR).

· Continued multi-vendor Electronics-Photonics-Design-Automation (EPDA) support with integrated EPDA PDK flow for schematic driven layout and system-level simulation.

"We listened to the AIM Photonics community and improved the performance and quality significantly from the first release of the PDK in 2016. The updated PDKv2.0a with the verified high bandwidth and low power performance will enable quick succession of complex Silicon Photonics Integrated Circuits, empowering a number of our current and future partners," said director of PDK Development at Analog Photonics, Erman Timurdogan.

"With the recent ratification of the IEEE 802.3bs standards for 200G and 400G and the ever-increasing demand for data, transceiver manufacturers will need to keep up with the data center requirements of lower cost, lower power and smaller size transceivers while data rates continue to increase. To accomplish this, optical integration and silicon photonics is a key technology. The recent release of the PDKv2.0a, which now includes 50Gbps, supports the industry's efforts down this path," said Analog Photonics' CEO Michael Watts.

In the near future, the PDK will be empowered by laser and CMOS integration with an interposer, a capability that will be made possible at AIM Photonics' Test, Assembly, and Packaging (TAP) facility, located in Rochester, NY. Additional releases of the AP SUNY Process Design Kit are planned over the next several years with improved statistical models, optical components, and PIC systems.

"We collaborated closely with Analog Photonics to contribute to the AIM v2.0a PDK, enabling customers to experience unparalleled electrical/photonics co-design capabilities. As a result of technology integrations with our partners, Lumerical and PhoeniX Software, designers now have access to a bi-directional, integrated design solution spanning from simulation to layout generation that is built around a golden electro-optical schematic in the advanced Virtuosoà' Platform," said Glen Clark, corporate VP, Research and Development at Cadence.

"Already, with prior versions of the AP SUNY PDK, multiple university, startup, and enterprise organizations have made use of the compact models for INTERCONNECT, Lumerical's photonic integrated circuit simulator," said James Pond, CTO of Lumerical. "We're excited to have worked closely with Analog Photonics to provide an enhanced compact model library for the new AIM PDK v2.0a. The improved time and frequency domain compact models, based on both 3D simulation and measured foundry performance data, enable fast and accurate simulation when using INTERCONNECT standalone or as part of familiar electronic and photonic design automation workflows."

"We are excited to work with Analog Photonics to release the AP SUNY PDK v2.0a for the AIM Photonics silicon photonics offer. The feedback from our customer base using OptoDesigner to design for the AIM Photonics platform is very promising. The fact that PDK component libraries evolved and matured toward industry needs for delivering high speed communications is very well received. This great partnership results in lower access barriers toward large scale PIC systems," said Niek Nijenhuis, Global Sales & Marketing Manager at PhoeniX Software.

"Our photonic integrated circuit (PIC) design tools have supported the AIM Photonics APSUNY PDK since its first tapeout two years ago," said George Bayz, vice president of Synopsys' Optical Solutions Group. "Synopsys' RSoft OptSim Circuit tool and the RSoft Photonic Component Design Suite enable engineers to accurately and efficiently design and simulate PICs, which are critical capabilities as this technology continues to scale in size and complexity. By directly supporting the high-performance AIM Photonics AP SUNY PDK, we allow designers to go from concept to fabricated chip via an AIM Photonics multi-project wafer (MPW) run, thereby promoting the growth of the PIC manufacturing ecosystem in the US"

AIM Photonics is planning to conduct PDK updates in February, June, and October and is ready for three total full-build/passive MPW runs to take place February, May, and September 2018, with an interposer MPW run scheduled for June 2018. To ensure space for all interested parties, AIM Photonics is accepting reservations for these MPW runs.


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