OpenLight launches electronic and photonic PDK

New Products |
By Nick Flaherty

US spinout OpenLight has released its unified process design kit (PDK). This combines both electronic and photonic designs used at the foundry at Tower Semiconductor in Israel.

The OpenLight PDK is ready to be used with the photonic IC design tool from spinout co-parent Synopsys and includes indium phosphide active optical elements on-chip that can be directly used by Synopsys OptoCompiler and simulated with the Synopsys OptSim photonic simulator. This gives an end-to-end design flow for customised photonic integrated circuits (PICs) with optical amplifiers, on-chip lasers, and high-speed, low-loss modulators.

OpenLight launched as an independent company in June 2022 out of Juniper Networks with and has already shipped its first 400G and 800G reference designs with integrated lasers in the summer. Tower is set to be a key part of Intel Foundry Services following the acquisition.

Designers can access an extensive library of tested and proven photonic components to design functioning PICs on the first pass with more reliable design and fabrication. The technology has passed qualification and reliability tests on Tower Semiconductor’s PH18DA Silicon Photonics production flow.

“We strongly believe in the ability of OpenLight’s technology implemented in Tower’s foundry platform to push the envelope and enable the next generation of photonic IC products,” said Dr. Marco Racanelli, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Tower Semiconductor’s Analog Business Unit.

“With PDKs now available to the world, mutual customers can benefit from access to this advanced technology through an open foundry model. Results of PICs fabricated to date are impressive and the PDK announced here will speed up further PIC innovation from the industry as designers confidently develop and bring to market new products faster with on-chip lasers and optical amplifiers.”

Synopsys supports OpenLight’s PDK through the OptoCompiler to bridge the gap between photonic experts and IC designers to make photonic designs as productive as electronic designs. OptoCompiler is a complete end-to-end design, verification, and signoff solution for photonic ICs.

The platform combines specific capabilities for photonic design with industry-proven electronic design methods in a unique, unified platform to make photonic IC design accessible, fast, and flexible.

“The combination of Synopsys’ industry-leading photonic IC design solution and OpenLight’s integrated laser technology in one cohesive platform empowers teams to design real-world PICs in a way that has never been done before,” said Aveek Sarkar, Vice President of Engineering at Synopsys. “We look forward to supporting mutual customers together with Tower and OpenLight to accelerate adoption of silicon photonics with integrated lasers.”

“Until now, there has never been an open silicon photonics platform with active on-chip optical elements,” said Dr. Thomas Mader, Chief Operating Officer at OpenLight.

“We are at the vanguard of discovering the extent to which integrated lasers can reduce barriers to entry and transform the way teams design PICs for a large variety of applications. With the general release of the PDK, OpenLight is also reducing barriers to entry on the design side, enabling customers to quickly design PICs and get to market and production faster.”


Linked Articles