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Application Gallery

Increasing demand for low cost and high bandwidth communications, whether between metro centers or in future high performance processors, has led to continued and increased research activity into photonic integrated circuits, components and systems capable of generating, transmitting and receiving data signals at ever faster rates. As a result, major manufacturers of networking hardware and equipment continue to fund research into components capable of generating, modulating, transmitting, routing and detecting optical signals, often with the goal of achieving such functionality within devices that can be manufactured with CMOS-compatible manufacturing.

Simulating photonic integrated circuits and systems


With INTERCONNECT, one can simulate PICs accurately in both the frequency and time domain to calculate important quantities such as circuit S parameters, eye diagrams and bit error rates (BER). These simulations rely on compact models to accurately represent the optical and electrical response of a wide range of components that can be manufactured by a given process and foundry. In this chapter, we will focus on circuit-level simulations using compact behavioral models in INTERCONNECT. To see how component level simulations can be used to design highly functional components and accurately extract parameters for the compact models used in the circuit/system simulations, see the following topics:

Passive components

Electro-Optic Modulators



Compact Model Libraries (CMLs)



An optical transceiver circuit in INTERCONNECT


The optical simulation of these integrated systems is particularly challenging because it often involves bi-directional and even multi-mode propagation of light, issues not commonly encountered in fiber-based communication system design. Despite the challenges, this type of simulation is essential for circuit design and verification and we will show how it fits within a larger EDA-style design flow.


Model multi-element photonic integrated circuits too large to address with other simulation methodologies

Choose between conducting a time- or frequency-domain analysis based on the requirements of the particular design challenge being addressed

Quickly prototype photonic integrated circuit concepts with the idealized PIC elements available in INTERCONNECT

Incorporate sophisticated PIC element descriptions by incorporating highly-accurate physical designs from Lumerical’s electromagnetic simulator products FDTD Solutions, MODE Solutions and DEVICE.

Built-in analysis tools measure circuit transmission characteristics (including phase, group delay, and dispersion) and can automatically quantify free spectral range (FSR), bandwidth and Q-factor

Access the impact of manufacturing imperfections and circuit variations

Perform signal integrity analysis in both the time and frequency domains

Application examples






Ring resonator



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