AIM Photonics and Analog Photonics unveil silicon photonics PDK

The Rochester-based consortium AIM Photonics (American Institute for Manufacturing Photonics), an industry-driven public-private partnership advancing the USA’s photonics manufacturing capabilities, and Analog Photonics of Boston, MA, USA (which has expertise in the design and verification of silicon photonics components and systems) have announced the release of the AP SUNY Process Design Kit v2.0a (APSUNY_PDKv2.0a).

Analog Photonics (AP) has expanded the comprehensive set of silicon photonics integrated circuit (PIC) component libraries within SUNY Poly’s process to address the high-speed optical communication needs. Combined with multi-project wafer (MPW) runs, this process design kit (PDK) will give AIM Photonics’ members access to silicon photonics components for the development of 100G, 200G and 400G+ optical transceivers or systems used in data centers, metro and long-haul optical networks.

“AIM Photonics is laying a strong foundation for enabling next-generation photonics-based capabilities, and we anticipate that this latest PDK version will provide even further incentive for members of the photonics industry to collaborate with AIM Photonics to leverage the updated PDK, especially for high-speed communications technologies, and join the more than 80 signed members and additional interested collaborators from across the USA, including industrial, academic and governmental members who have found incredible value in this growing national initiative,” says Dr Michael Liehr, AIM Photonics’ CEO and SUNY Poly’s VP for research.

The PDK includes a silicon photonics library of interfaces, passive and active components, schematics and models for the development of optical modules and system.

The key features of the APSUNY_PDKv2.0a are:

50Gbps modulation with less than 1V peak-to-peak drive (low-voltage drive at high bandwidth is key to enable low-power applications and work with CMOS/BiCMOS drivers);
digital detectors with greater than 45GHz bandwidth and high responsivity (suitable for C-band receivers);
both polarization support for standard and low-cost single-mode fibers (eliminating the need for expensive polarization-maintaining fibers);
lower-loss crossings and propagation with seamless dielectric transitions and <1% mismatch between the outputs of a 3dB splitter (leading to a high common mode rejection ratio, CMRR); and
continued multi-vendor electronics-photonics design automation (EPDA) support with integrated EPDA PDK flow for schematic driven layout and system-level simulation.
“We listened to the AIM Photonics community and improved the performance and quality significantly from the first release of the PDK in 2016,” says director of PDK development at Analog Photonics, Dr Erman Timurdogan. “The updated PDKv2.0a with the verified high bandwidth and low-power performance will enable quick succession of complex silicon photonics integrated circuits, empowering a number of our current and future partners,” he adds.

The combined AP SUNY PDKv2.0a and MPW offering provides access to PIC systems for companies wanting a reduction in the time to market, product development risk, and investment. By incorporating design, verification and process development within the PDK, companies can rapidly modify their designs while reducing the cost per gigabit.

“With the recent ratification of the IEEE 802.3bs standards for 200G and 400G and the ever-increasing demand for data, transceiver manufacturers will need to keep up with the data-center requirements of lower cost, lower power and smaller-size transceivers while data rates continue to increase,” says Analog Photonics’ CEO Michael Watts. “To accomplish this, optical integration and silicon photonics is a key technology. The recent release of the PDKv2.0a, which now includes 50Gbps, supports the industry’s efforts down this path.”

In the near future, the PDK will be empowered by laser and CMOS integration with an interposer, a capability that will be made possible at AIM Photonics’ Test, Assembly and Packaging (TAP) facility in Rochester, NY. Additional releases of the AP SUNY PDK are planned over the next several years with improved statistical models, optical components and PIC systems.

AIM Photonics is planning to conduct PDK updates in February, June and October and is ready for three total full-build/passive MPW runs to take place February, May and September, with an interposer MPW run scheduled for June. To ensure space for all interested parties, AIM Photonics is accepting reservations for these MPW runs. Those interested in participating in any of the AIM Photonics 2018 MPW silicon photonics runs should e-mail Chandra Cotter at

PDK and MPW fab access is solely available through the AIM Photonics MPW aggregator MOSIS.

AIM Photonics and Analog Photonics unveil silicon photonics PDK

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