Silicon photonics design kit based on the Mentor Calibre nmPlatform

Silicon photonics design kit based on the Mentor Calibre nmPlatform

New Products |
By Wisse Hettinga

The initial release includes design kits for the Calibre nmDRC™ and Calibre nmLVS™ tools. With Calibre nmPlatform support, customers targeting PH18 Silicon Photonics process fromTowerJazz can now have the same high level of confidence in producing physically correct silicon photonics devices as they have always had with producing physically correct complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) devices using the trusted Calibre nmDRC Platform. The PH18 Silicon Photonics process and leading design platform target optical networking and data center interconnect applications.

Silicon photonics is enabling companies to bring fiber optics directly onto ICs, allowing wired communications infrastructure to reach speed-of-light levels of system performance. However, silicon photonic devices have curved features rather than the Manhattan grid (north south east west linear) features found in traditional CMOS processes. Trying to apply traditional design rule checking (DRC) used for CMOS to silicon photonic layouts would yield numerous false positive errors that design teams would have to spend weeks tracking down.

To address this issue, TowerJazz leveraged the Calibre eqDRC equation-based DRC functionality, which allows one to write checks using an equation. The result is a streamlined silicon photonics DRC process, so design teams can get designs to market faster in this emerging, yet highly competitive, market.

The TowerJazz Calibre nmLVS design kit initially supports the electronic components of photonic design, and there are plans to add the optical components in future releases.

“As TowerJazz moves into a broad market silicon photonics offering, it is critical that our customers be able to sign off with the same tools they use for all of TowerJazz’s foundry offerings,” said Ori Galzur, vice president of VLSI Design Center and Design Enablement, TowerJazz. “As such, our Silicon Photonics design platform verification engine is based on Mentor’s Calibre nmPlatform.”

In addition to providing the initial design kit elements needed for today’s silicon photonics designs, Mentor has been working with other companies to provide a complete design flow via its OpenDoor Program. This will bring greater degrees of automation to the silicon photonics development process, resulting in faster release of designs to TowerJazz and faster time to market for customers’ silicon photonic innovations.

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