OptiSPICE Tanner Plugin





OptiSPICE Tanner Plugin was created by Optiwave and Mentor Graphics to enhance Tanner T-Spice with optical circuit simulation capabilities. The seamless integration of optical models into the Tanner EDA enables the simulation of complex opto electronic circuits from schematic or mask layout within a single design environment. OptiSPICE Tanner Plugin supporting Tanner 2020.1 was released.

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Supported Features

  • Multi channel bidirectional optical time and frequency domain simulation with SPICE
  • Opto electronic feedback and control loop simulation
  • Noise, channel cross talk and interference effects
  • Support for Tanner GPIC PDK
  • Direct opto-electronic interfacing with SPICE components via laser/photodiode/modulators etc..
  • Optical S-Parameter device for passive components. Compatible with OptiFDTD and OptiBPM
  • User defined or experimental data input for compact model creation, ie waveguide effective index and responsivity
  • Standard bandpass, bandstop optical filter components (Butterwoth, Chebyshev, Bessel) for quick prototyping
  • Optical signal visualization (magnitude, phase, real, imaginary, power etc..) with Tanner Waveform Viewer


Enhanced following devices with additional features,

  • Laser/LaserFC – Users can now define the channel values either in wavelength or frequency
  • S-Parameter –  The S-Parameter input file support was extended to include the files generated by OptiGrating.
  • S-Parameter and Waveguides – Time delay interpolation capabilities were enhanced. The interpolation of optical signals can be done using either polar (better accuracy) or cartesian coordiantes (better stability).
  • Waveguide – The capability to define the waveguide length as a function of voltage was added. The length affects the time delay and the phase shift between the input and the output ports of the waveguide. In addition, OptiMode can be driven by OptiSPICE Tanner Plugin to numerically determine the modal effective index at a set frequency. The results from OptiMode is directly integrated into the waveguide simulation to determine the time delay and the phase shift of an optical signal.

Two new optical devices, ideal circulator and ideal isolator were added to the S-Edit library and OptiSPICE models.
Ability to use Verilog and optical models in the same circuit was added.
A new optoelectronic gyroscope example to the S-Edit library was added. A tutorial for this example is included under the documentation folder.
Licensing driver installer added to the Tanner OptiSPICE Plugin package.

Design Flow


OptiSPICE optical models use slowly varying envelope approximation to model the behaviour of optical signals as they travel through various devices. Complex valued bidirectional optical signals are separated into individual channels with unique optical carrier frequencies. It is possible to use OptiSPICE optical models combined with T-Spice electrical devices to perform rapid prototyping and design verification.

Rapid Prototyping

The standard device library included in OptiSPICE Tanner Plugin allows users to design optical circuits using basic building blocks with generalized simulation models independent of any PDK’s. It enables fast prototyping of opto electronic circuits.

Design Verification

The main advantage of having optical models built into the Tanner EDA is the ability to verify optical mask designs before fabrication. Users can extract a netlist from their mask design via L-Edit, build a test bench with optical and electrical devices in S-Edit and run simulations using OptiSPICE Tanner plugin. This workflow allows the user to create and test either a single device mask like an MZI or a fully featured optical chip like a coherent transceiver.