Design Automation for Photonic Integrated Circuits
Silicon photonics is an emerging Integrated Circuit (IC) design technology, which is used for data communication through optical rays as it is faster and more efficient than data transfer through conductors. Such ICs are also called as Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs). They are used in data centers for ever-growing bandwidth requirements. Erbium-doped waveguide amplifiers and fibre amplifiers increase the capacity of the system and fulfil the required demands of data communication. A PIC requires key functions like generation of light, modulation, splitting and monitoring of the optical power, detection of light, wavelength filtering and coupling to the systems. There are several challenges that are being faced while designing a PIC. The layout of a PIC is different from the electronic circuit as it involves the routing of waveguides and extracting the functional behavior from the circuit layout by performing full-length electromagnetic simulations. Moreover, analyzing the interconnections in the PICs layout is also complex. Furthermore, the co-simulation of photonic and electronic circuits is a big challenge. Major steps involved in design automation of PICs are Schematic Capture, Simulation, Layout, Verification (DRC and LVS) and finally Testing and Packaging. The main components used in PIC design are Directional Couplers, Beam Combiners, Beam Splitters, Mach-Zehnder Interferometers (MZIs), Optical Amplifiers and Ring Resonators. In case of optical amplifiers, Erbium-doped onto Silica Host (EDSH) waveguide amplifiers are mostly preferred than the Semiconductor Optical Amplifiers (SOAs) as the latter one suffers from crosstalk and gain burning. Silicon photonics is an emerging field of study as it is compatible with Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) Industry. So, high volume devices can be manufactured at lower cost and another unique feature is its high refractive index, which allows dense packing for the optical circuits. In this project, we are exploring design automation techniques of PICs using OptiBPM and Luceda Photonics tools.
Keywords: Silicon Photonics, Mach Zehnder Interferometer(MZI), Semi-conductor Optical Amplifiers (SOAs), Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs), Erbium Doped onto Silica Host (EDSH)