OptoCompiler combines photonic and electronic design, says Synopsys

Synopsys claims that its OptoCompiler is the industry’s first unifed electronic and photonic design platform, designed to enable fast and scalable photonic IC (PIC) development.

Photonic technologies are enabling innovations in data communications, sensing, and imaging. As demand increases for fast, energy-efficient communications, integrated photonics provides a key enabling element, but widespread implementation of PICs has been impeded because many design tools were intended for electronics rather than photonics.

The OptoCompiler provides schematic-driven layout and photonic layout synthesis in a single platform. In this way, it bridges the gap between photonic experts and IC designers to make photonic design accessible, fast, and flexible, claims Synopsys.

Users report savings in development time. “We were able to reduce the time from schematic entry to final test chip layout by nearly 4X over legacy tools,” said Dr. Radha Nagarajan, CTO and SVP, Platforms at Inphi. The company has used OptoCompiler for multiple tape-outs.

Tom Walker, group director of Synopsys’ Photonic Solutions, adds: “By providing all required functionality in a single platform from a single vendor and integrated in a familiar, proven EDA environment, we are removing the barriers between photonic specialists and IC designers,” he said. Customers can define, simulate, lay out and verify PICs quickly and efficiently, he added.

OptoCompiler combines support for electronic-photonic co-design to ensure scalable design processes. It also has features for hierarchical design to enable multiple designers to work closely together to shorten product development cycle times

The tool allows developers to use dedicated native photonic simulators in conjunction with industry-standard electrical simulators for results that account for statistical variations.

Another feature is the seamless design and simulation of custom photonic components which can be incorporated into the design alongside process design kit (PDK) components.

Other features include native optical port and net support, assisted waveguide routing, auto-alignment of photonic circuits, and curvilinear layout synthesis.

OptoCompiler enables Python, TcL and OptoDesigner for scripting and iPDK technology.


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