Lumerical Collaboration with Mentor on PDK for TowerJazz Marks New Milestone in Silicon Photonics Advancement

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New flow developed by Mentor & Lumerical enables greater level of designer productivity

"This marks a milestone event toward silicon photonics achieving its potential. We anticipate photonic designers will increasingly use this path to accelerate the impact of photonics on technology in today’s world.”

Lumerical Inc. (, a leading developer of photonic simulation tools announces the availability of a Process Design Kit (PDK) developed in collaboration with Mentor, a Siemens business. The PDK enables designer access to the first open Silicon Photonics (SiPho) manufacturing process offered by a commercial foundry through an integrated flow that enables significantly higher productivity.

The SiPho PH18MA process, targeting optical networking and data center interconnect applications, is an “open” platform offered by TowerJazz, the global specialty foundry leader, to all SiPho customers unlike other “closed” processes only offered to certain customers or restricted to low-volume prototyping. TowerJazz’s SiPho process complements its advanced SiGe BiCMOS processes which are used to build the electronic components of 100Gb to 400Gb optical fiber communication systems.

The overall SiPho market is expected to present over 20% CAGR by 2023, according to a MarketsandMarkets report. SiPho holds the potential to become a cost-effective, scalable technology for the production of electro-optical integrated circuits and transceivers for data centers and high-performance computing, telecommunications, military, defense, and aerospace applications. TowerJazz’s SiPho process addresses the high-performance requirements of these applications, such as reduction in power consumption, high bandwidth and high data transfer capabilities.

The collaboration between leading foundry, EDA, and photonic simulation leaders provides photonic designers with a high confidence, high productivity path to silicon at a proven commercial specialty foundry. The integrated flow developed by Lumerical and Mentor enables photonic designers to combine industry leading photonic simulation and EDA tools. The flow improves photonic circuit and system designers’ productivity by providing a layout driven flow featuring Python-driven layout generation with Mentor’s recently announced LightSuite™ Photonic Compiler, integrated with Lumerical’s leading photonic integrated circuit simulator INTERCONNECT, and DRC checking with Mentor’s Calibre® RealTime Custom verification tool. This integration introduces a path towards efficient photonic-electronic co-simulation. Mentor’s LightSuite Photonic Compiler enables designers to generate as well as update large photonic layouts rapidly, in some cases in minutes versus weeks.

The Compact Model Library (CML) contains passive components such as waveguides, directional couplers, grating couplers and Multimode Interference (MMI) Couplers as well as active components such as Mach-Zehnder Modulators, a photodiode and PN Junction Phase Shifters.

“We have worked closely with TowerJazz’s industry leading PH18MA process and device experts to provide a reliable compact model library (CML) for accurate time and frequency domain simulation using Lumerical’s photonic integrated circuit (PIC) simulator, INTERCONNECT,” said Dr. James Pond, CTO of Lumerical. “We have integrated this CML seamlessly into the TowerJazz/Mentor PDK to enable high quality photonic simulation within the Mentor design flow, in addition to standalone simulation with INTERCONNECT.”

“We are excited to partner with industry leaders, Mentor and Lumerical, to enable a comprehensive photonic IC design flow. This will allow our mutual customers to efficiently design, verify and synthesize their Photonic Integrated Circuits,” said Dr. Marco Racanelli, Sr. Vice President and General Manager of RF & High Performance Analog Business Unit, TowerJazz.

“With our new LightSuite Photonic Compiler and Calibre RealTime Custom teamed with Lumerical’s photonic simulation solutions, we are providing TowerJazz customers with a progressive tool flow that will enable them to move silicon photonics from the lab to mainstream design,” said Greg Lebsack, general manager of the IC Design Solutions Division at Mentor, a Siemens business. “This marks a milestone event toward silicon photonics achieving its potential. We anticipate photonic designers will increasingly use this path to accelerate the impact of photonics on technology in today’s world.”

PH18MA PDK is available immediately from TowerJazz. LightSuite Compiler will be available October 1, 2018 from Mentor. INTERCONNECT and interoperability & reader licenses enabling the flow are available immediately from Lumerical.

A demonstration of the TowerJazz SiPho design enablement platform featuring TowerJazz’s PH18MA PDK, Lumerical’s INTERCONNECT, and Mentor’s LightSuite Photonic Compiler will take place at the 44th European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC) in Rome, September 24 – 26 in both the Mentor stand #436 and TowerJazz stand #569. For more information on SiPho PDKs for TowerJazz’s SiPho process, please contact

About Lumerical
Lumerical develops photonic simulation software – tools which enable product designers to understand light, and predict how it behaves within complex structures, circuits, and systems. Since being founded in 2003, Lumerical has grown to license its design tools in over 50 countries and its customers include 10 of the top 15 companies in the S&P 1200 Global IT index, and 46 of the top 50 research universities as rated by the Times Higher Education rankings. Lumerical’s substantial impact on the photonic design and simulation community means its tools are among the most widely cited in the scientific press, with references in more than 10,000 academic publications and patents. Lumerical enables its customers to achieve more with light, and establish a leading position in the development of transformative technologies employing photonics.

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Rich Goldman
Lumerical Inc.
+1 (604)733-9006 Ext: 220
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