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Synopsys Enhances Photonic Modelling Software

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RSoft simulation speeds of silicon photonics components increased by 100 times or more

Synopsys has announced the release of version 2017.09 of the Synopsys RSoft product portfolio, the company's industry-leading family of software tools for photonic component and optical communication system design, with important new features to streamline and enhance photonic and optoelectronic modelling.

"The latest release of the RSoft product family provides users with powerful, multi-level simulation solutions that address a range of photonic and optoelectronic design challenges," said George Bayz, vice president and general manager of Synopsys' Optical Solutions Group.

"The S-Matrix/PDK utility reduces the cost and complexity of building PIC elements, testing their performance and exporting mask layout files for processing. In addition, the unique RSoft-HSPICE interface enables designers to analyse and optimise optoelectronic circuit performance early in the design cycle."

The RSoft Photonic Component Design Suite is for efficient analysis of silicon photonics components at the device, circuit and system levels. The RSoft Photonic System Design Suite introduces an interface with Synopsys' HSPICE circuit simulation tool for cohesive, rigorous co-simulation of electronic components in photonic circuits.

New Component Design Suite features



One of the new features is S-Matrix/PDK Generation Utility to automate the interface between RSoft component tools, the RSoft OptSim Circuit tool, and mask layout tools. The utility creates the S-Matrix of a photonic component using the RSoft FullWAVE, BeamPROP and ModePROP tools and exports it to OptSim Circuit to verify its performance in a photonic integrated circuit (PIC) or system.

The final design can then be easily exported to mask layout tools to create an optical process design kit (PDK). The interface allows designers to efficiently create PICs from basic building elements and accurately test PIC performance prior to fabrication.

Anothwr new feature is expanded effective index method (EIM) implementation in RSoft component tools. EIM is a sophisticated method for reducing 3D waveguide structures, such as silicon photonics components, into equivalent 2D structures for extremely fast and accurate performance simulations. EIM can increase simulation speeds by 100x or more.

The software also features improved RSoft FullWAVE pulsed and broadband simulation. This feature allows engineers to accurately simulate the spectral response of photonic devices over a wide wavelength―or spectral―range with just a single simulation. It is especially useful for analyzing resonant devices such as ring resonators.

Expanded documentation and examples demonstrate how the RSoft tools' proprietary sub-cell meshing capabilities can significantly improve the accuracy and speed of photonic component simulations.

New System Design Suite features

There is now an interface between the RSoft OptSim and OptSim Circuit tools and Synopsys' HSPICE simulator for seamless optoelectronic analysis. With more than 25 years of successful design tape-outs, the HSPICE tool is the industry's gold-standard electrical circuit simulator and offers foundry-certified electrical MOS device models. The RSoft-HSPICE interface supports precise co-simulation of electronic components in photonic circuits in both on-chip and off-chip optical configurations. RSoft OptSim and OptSim Circuit are the only photonic simulation tools on the market that offer this capability.

Updated PDKs including the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics) PDK version 1.5b and Imec PDK version ISIPP50G. The PDKs help reduce PIC design costs and bring designers a step closer to fabrication through facilities supporting the AIM and imec processes.

Support for PhoeniX Software's OptoDesigner elastic connectors. Constraints from packaging and design rule checks can impose restrictive routing requirements on schematic-driven layouts. To overcome these constraints, OptSim Circuit supports OptoDesigner elastic connectors, where the shape and dimensions of the connectors are determined through tight integration with layout generation, and equivalent compact models for these connectors are created and simulated in OptSim Circuit.

Addition of the Viterbi and Viterbi (V & V) Mth power Carrier Phase Estimation algorithm in the OptSim digital signal processing (DSP) library for MATLAB. Accurate estimation of the optical carrier in phase-modulated coherent fibre-optic transmission systems is a vital responsibility of DSP at the receiver. As the order of modulation increases, susceptibility to laser phase noise requires accurate methods for phase estimation. The V & V Mth power algorithm in the OptSim tool helps designers achieve accurate estimation of carrier phase for QPSK and PM-QPSK modulation formats.


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