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Alcyon Photonics and Applied Nanotools collaborate on photonics PDK


The partnership brings together Alcyon Photonics’ design expertise with Applied Nanotools’ NanoSOI foundry service, offering a library of PIC components and empowering engineers to innovate in photonics

Alcyon Photonics, a company focusing on photonics IP cores (PIP core) design, and Applied Nanotools (ANT), an MPW semiconductor foundry, have joined forces to introduce a Process Design Kit (PDK), with which they aim to revolutionise the way engineers and researchers approach the design and development of advanced integrated photonic devices.

The partnership unites Alcyon Photonics' expertise in integrated photonics design with the knowledge in high-resolution fabrication and rapid turnaround times of the ANT NanoSOI foundry service, resulting, according to the companies, in a groundbreaking PDK that will empower engineers, researchers, and innovators to create leading-edge integrated photonic devices with unprecedented ease and efficiency. Alcyon adds that the collaboration has enabled the development of a validated library of components covering a wide range of functionalities with competitive performance and available under fast fabrication schedules.

Alcyon says it combines different design techniques to maximise a building block’s performance while adapting its features to each specific platform and process constraints. According to the company, its IP Library for ANT NanoSOI offers a comprehensive set of functionalities under the SOI platform covering most passive operations present in current photonic integrated circuits: from basic structures (bends, waveguide routings, power dividers) to more complex functions such as mode and polarisation (de)multiplexers, broadband directional couplers, or polarisation splitters. Documentation is provided regarding the components’ performance together with a kit containing their compact models.

Alcyon’s IP library for ANT NanoSOI is provided through the Alcyon Toolkit, which is a software platform developed by Alcyon to facilitate the daily work of PIC designers. It offers tools to create and manage users’ portfolios of blocks and PICs and grants them access to different validated libraries. This platform aims to facilitate the exploration of innovations and create new solutions around them.

The partnership between Alcyon Photonics and Applied Nanotools has been forged with a focus on offering a mature and competitive portfolio. The companies emphasise their commitment to performance – offering cutting-edge components using the most convenient techniques, while considering feasible sizes and fabrication process limitations – and reliability – providing robustness analysis to assess the behaviour of each component against fabrication deviations, enabling more accurate performance prediction.

The companies also highlight that, with ANT’s semiconductor manufacturing capabilities, the PDK ensures consistent and high-quality production, and that the Alcyon toolkit offers an intuitive and integrated design-to-fabrication process, reducing design time and costs. The PDK is designed to unlock a host of opportunities for product development in fields such as telecommunications, datacentres, medical devices, and quantum computing.

This strategic alliance not only amplifies the capabilities of both entities but also signifies a not only amplifies the capabilities of both entities but also signifies a commitment to driving transformative change and shaping the future of photonic integrated commitment to driving transformative change and shaping the future of photonic integrated circuits.

“We are excited to collaborate with Applied Nanotools on this groundbreaking project,” said Jimena Garcia-Romeu, CEO of Alcyon Photonics. “Our combined expertise and resources will bring about a new era of innovation in photonics and semiconductor integration, empowering engineers and researchers to create cutting-edge solutions with ease.”

Mirwais Aktary, president and CEO of Applied Nanotools, added: “The partnership with Alcyon Photonics is a testament to our commitment to push the boundaries of technology and expand access to our photonics foundry service. Our foundry capabilities, combined with Alcyon’s photonics design prowess, will provide the semiconductor and photonics industry with powerful tools for innovation.”

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