OptiSystem Simulation Framework for Custom III-V Devices Manufactured at CPFC



The advancement in heterogeneous photonic integrated circuits (PICs) has evolved to a level that requires a unified simulation environment that enables pre-manufacturability evaluation. A high-fidelity simulation environment would offer a distinctive competitive advantage by drastically reducing a product’s time to the market and enhancing product quality through low-cost parameter exploration, thus improving overall cost-effectiveness and competitiveness.

Optiwave Systems Inc. offers a comprehensive solution for designing PICs from schematic design to system characterization. Their monolithic simulation platform includes SPICE and System software that seamlessly integrates with third-party software for loading process design kits (PDKs) from photonic fabrication facilities. Compact device models (CDMs) of commercial PDKs can be generated using Optiwave’s OptiFDTD and OptiMode software, then applied to the OptiSPICE engine called by layout tools. Additionally, OptiSystem enables characterizing the PIC’s performance within a system comprising devices, optical wired or wireless channels.

CPFC Custom III-V Devices

The National Research Council of Canada‘s Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre (CPFC) is a commercial pure-play InP photonics foundry that specializes in volume manufacturing of custom high-performance devices, such as buried heterostructure lasers and optical amplifiers.

In a design-assisted model III-V foundry model, a foundry provides a set of reference designs, or PDKs, to allow clients to rapidly construct photonic circuits. In contrast, the pure-play III-V foundry model involves foundry clients specifying both component geometries and epitaxial compositions. The resulting photonic devices fabricated at pure-play foundries are thus fully customized and capable of achieving best-in-class performance tailored for specific applications.

One challenge in the pure-play foundry model arising from the lack of III-V component standardization is the absence of a supporting simulation ecosystem for custom photonic devices. To address this challenge, Optiwave Systems and the CPFC have partnered to deliver a design-to-manufacturing workflow that enables fabrication-aware simulation of custom III-V devices while protecting both epitaxial and layout design IP.

Clients working with both Optiwave Systems and the CPFC can leverage this workflow to fabricate custom III-V devices with the CPFC and emulate their performance in system-level and link-level deployments with OptiSystem’s suite of over 600 components, including realistic fiber models, DSP components, and advanced visualizers.

Moreover, the heterogeneous integration of III-V materials onto silicon platforms has attracted significant attention in the past year. Optiwave’s complementary suite of simulation tools allows users to evaluate custom III-V components fabricated at the CPFC with various silicon photonic technologies, such as those accessible in PDK form at various silicon foundries.

Through the partnership with Optiwave and the CPFC, silicon foundries can provide mutual clients with a monolithic design and simulation framework for custom heterogeneous photonic systems. By leveraging these new capabilities, clients can tighten design cycles and reduce errors on the road to volume manufacturing of heterogeneous systems.

About Optiwave

Since 1994, Optiwave has been pioneering the development of innovative photonics design automation software. As an emerging leader in the industry, we’re at the forefront of creating groundbreaking software tools tailored for design, simulation, and optimization in the ever-evolving realms of photonics nanotechnology, optoelectronics, and optical networks. Optiwave’s software has been licensed to more than 1000 industry-leading corporations and universities in over 80 countries worldwide. Today, Optiwave’s cutting-edge photonic design automation software and customized engineering design services offer its customers a distinct competitive advantage by vastly shortening their time to market while dramatically improving quality, productivity and cost-effectiveness. www.optiwave.com