Photonics has quickly moved into mainstream electronic designs. In markets with heavy bandwidth demands, only photonic ICs (PICs) offer a viable solution. Other key applications include antenna and RF systems, bio-photonics, and environmental sensing systems. To address the challenges of designing PICs, Cadence has teamed with ecosystem partners to develop an integrated electronic/photonic design automation (EPDA) environment.
Proven Electro/ Optical Co-Design
Proven design platform for electronic/photonic system design, simulation, and analysis
Efficient design flows for electro/photonics circuits
Manage Complex Curvilinear Designs
Robust set of capabilities and APIs for generating and editing complex curvilinear shapes
Efficient Photonics Design Flows Overview
Built upon the Cadence® Virtuoso® custom design platform, the EPDA environment supports monolithic (single chip with both electronic and photonic components) and hybrid (3D-IC stacks with a traditional electronics IC on top of a photonics IC) approaches. The comprehensive EPDA flow provides schematic capture, circuit simulation, and schematic-driven layout implementation as well as support for complex photonic SKILL® PCells and advanced photonic layout generators. It also provides co-design of the electronic and photonic components for hybrid systems.
PIC Exploration Overview
PIC design comes with many unique challenges. Their curvilinear, polygon-based layouts are typically drawn by hand, which is labor intensive, error prone, and time consuming. Currently available process design kits (PDKs) are fairly immature, with a limited amount of fixed GDS layout cells, specifications, and process rules. Error checking is quite challenging, yet layout versus schematic (LVS) and design rule checking (DRC) tools are primitive at best. Circuit modeling is also difficult without the support of a widely accepted SPICE equivalent. Often, designers end up manually drawing schematics twice when designing systems and doing the same with layouts when designing components. The EPDA environment from Cadence and its partners addresses each of these challenges and streamlines the entire design process.
Addressing Curvilinear Layouts Overview
Integrated into the Virtuoso custom IC design platform, the CurvyCore™ infrastructure and API allows designers to easily generate and edit complex curvilinear shapes common in photonics, MEMs, microfluidics, and conformal metal routing. The integration of the CurvyCore technology into the Virtuoso platform enables a single design environment for developing complex, multi-fabric systems.