industry news
Subscribe Now

Mentor’s new LightSuite Photonic Compiler automated layout tool speeds integrated photonic design development

Mentor, a Siemens business, today announced LightSuite™ Photonic Compiler – the industry’s first integrated photonic automated layout system. This new tool enables companies designing integrated photonic layouts to describe designs in the Python language, from which the tool then automatically generates designs ready for fabrication. The resulting design is “Correct by Calibre” – with the implementation precisely guided by Mentor’s Calibre® RealTime Custom verification tool. LightSuite Photonic Compiler enables designers to generate as well as update large photonic layouts in minutes versus weeks.

With this breakthrough technology, companies can dramatically speed the development of integrated photonic designs that will bring speed-of-light communications directly into high-speed networking and high-performance computing (HPC) systems. It also speeds the development of more cost-effective LiDAR technology, which is seen as essential to enabling the mass deployment of autonomous vehicles.

“Mentor’s LightSuite Photonic Compiler represents a quantum leap in automating what has up to now been a highly manual, full-custom process that required deep knowledge of photonics as well as electronics,” said Joe Sawicki, vice president and general manager of the Design-to-Silicon Division at Mentor, a Siemens business. “With the new LightSuite Photonic Compiler, Mentor is enabling more companies to push the envelope in creating integrated photonic designs.”

“LightSuite Photonic Compiler fixes the biggest roadblocks preventing industry-wide adoption of electro-optical design and simulation of photonic chips,” said M. Ashkan Seyedi, Ph.D., senior research scientist, Hewlett Packard Enterprise. “Photonic chips promise amazing performance, but designing circuits today is just too difficult and requires specialized knowledge. LightSuite Photonic Compiler circumvents those challenges and enables scalability. I’m thrilled to have worked with Mentor to develop this tool to make it possible for anyone to design and build photonic circuits as easily as designing electronic circuits.”

Until now, photonic designers have been forced to use analog, full-custom IC tools to create photonic designs. In this flow, designers manually place components from a process design kit (PDK) and then interconnect those components manually. Photonic components must be interconnected with curved waveguides. After they have manually placed and interconnected the components, they typically perform a full Calibre physical verification run to check for design rule violations, as Calibre DRC can find violations even in photonic designs.

Mentor designed the new LightSuite Photonic Compiler specifically for photonic layout so that engineers have complete control of their layouts and can use the tool to automatically perform the placement and interconnecting of both photonic and electrical components. The designers create a Python script that is used to drive the LightSuite Photonic Compiler. Initial placement can also be defined in Python, or come from a pre-placed OpenAccess design. Next, the tool interconnects photonics components with curved wave guides. As some of the components might contain built-in electrical elements, the tool will route these electrical connections simultaneously along with the curved waveguides.

LightSuite Photonic Compiler uses Calibre RealTime Custom during the inner placement and routing loop, resulting in a layout that is design-rule correct. The tool enables designers to perform “what-if” design exploration for photonics designs, which was prohibitively time consuming with manual layout. With this new level of automation, designers can generate a new layout in minutes versus weeks for large designs.

Mentor will demonstrate LightSuite Photonic Compiler at ECOC in Rome, September 24 – 26 at Stand 436. LightSuite Photonic Compiler will be available on October 1.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Feb 22, 2024
The new Cadence training website is online! This newly redesigned website provides an overview of our well-respected training methods and courses, plus offerings that might be new to you. Modern design and top-of-the-page navigation make it easy to find just what you need'”q...
Feb 15, 2024
This artist can paint not just with both hands, but also with both feet, and all at the same time!...

featured video

Tackling Challenges in 3DHI Microelectronics for Aerospace, Government, and Defense

Sponsored by Synopsys

Aerospace, Government, and Defense industry experts discuss the complexities of 3DHI for technological, manufacturing, & economic intricacies, as well as security, reliability, and safety challenges & solutions. Explore DARPA’s NGMM plan for the 3DHI R&D ecosystem.

Learn more about Synopsys Aerospace and Government Solutions

featured paper

Reduce 3D IC design complexity with early package assembly verification

Sponsored by Siemens Digital Industries Software

Uncover the unique challenges, along with the latest Calibre verification solutions, for 3D IC design in this new technical paper. As 2.5D and 3D ICs redefine the possibilities of semiconductor design, discover how Siemens is leading the way in verifying complex multi-dimensional systems, while shifting verification left to do so earlier in the design process.

Click here to read more

featured chalk talk

PIC32CX-BZ2 and WBZ451 Multi-Protocol Wireless MCU Family
Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and Microchip
In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton and Shishir Malav from Microchip explore the benefits of the PIC32CX-BZ2 and WBZ45 Multi-protocol Wireless MCU Family and how it can make IoT design easier than ever before. They investigate the components included in this multi-protocol wireless MCU family, the details of the software architecture included in this solution, and how you can utilize these MCUs in your next design.
May 4, 2023
34,834 views