Customer Success: AIM Photonics and Analog Photonics

  • AIM Photonics and Analog Photonics

    Product: INTERCONNECT, CML Compiler
    Application: Integrated Photonic Components & Circuits

    Frank Tolic (AIM Photonics) | Erman Timurdogan (Analog Photonics)

AIM Photonics and Analog Photonics deliver improved manufacturability through statistical compact models for AP_SUNY PDK 4.0a

Figure 1: A subset of the 60+ INTERCONNECT compact models in the APSUNY v4.0a CML.

Industry Need

Design flows continue to mature to meet the cost and scalability demands of manufacturing necessary for broad commercial markets. The introduction of photonic/electronic process design kits (PDKs) in recent years raised the level of abstraction for photonics design to produce unprecedented levels of productivity. This has been made possible with the introduction of advanced circuit-level design flows including Lumerical’s circuit simulation tool INTERCONNECT.

There is a growing demand for statistical-enabled PDKs and flows to meet the industry need for improved yield and reduced time-to-market. Accurately simulating manufacturing variability shrinks the design cycle by reducing the need for costly prototype iterations and by minimizing manufacturing risk leading to fewer respins. Improved yield results in improved return on investment.


AIM Photonics, NY CREATES, Analog Photonics, and Lumerical set out to address the need for a statistical-enabled PDK. The PDK component library, owned by Analog Photonics, was the first to support statistical models in Lumerical’s INTERCONNECT, based on the measured wafer-scale data of photonic components. It provides statistical variation data for waveguides, passive and active components. The PDK provides SMEs with a key resource for the development of the baseline technology and design of photonic products manufactured by AIM Photonics multi project wafer (MPW) services produced at NY CREATES Albany Nanotech advanced 300mm microelectronics chip fabrication facility.

The AP_SUNY PDK 4.0a is the seventh major update of the Silicon Photonics Process Design Kit on 300mm wafers with Lumerical compact models in the past 4 years. It includes over 60 verified and best-in-class modulator and detector components that are compatible with 3 AIM technologies (passive, full-build and passive interposer). The PDK statistically enables all process sensitive components within the component library; 5 waveguides, 5 passive elements (c+l band 3 port splitter, c+l band 4 port splitter, c+l band 99/1 tap, c+l band 90/10 tap, o band 4 port splitter), and 12 active elements (3 mach-zehnder modulators, 4 c+l band tunable microdisk modulators, 4 c+l band tunable filters, and 1 o band microdisk modulator).

AP_SUNY PDK 4.0a improves upon the previous PDK v3.5b with the inclusion of statistical variations for doping profiles for its mach-zehnder modulators. Further, it includes four new components that include statistical distributions for physical variations.

Dr. Erman Timurdogan, Director of PDK Development at Analog Photonics said, “with PDK v4.0a, users have access to statistical models for full-build, passive technologies based on the experimental data and the component library is adapted to support a brand-new technology offering, Active Interposer. The statistical models allow for prediction of the device, system or product performance, yield, and corner analysis without spending the time and money to fabricate and test it. The models will also help with design for manufacturability (DFM) practices at AIM Photonics.”

“Delivering statistical compact models for the first time is another major milestone in delivering the commercialization environment that our customers are demanding,” said Lumerical CTO James Pond.

AIM Photonics COO and Director of EPDA, Test, Packaging, and Process Development, Dr. David Harame said, “We are proud to be the first to offer statistical CMLs from Lumerical. With the most recent PDK 4.0a, we are continuing to push the leading edge of the PIC ecosystem with statistical distributions based on doping profiles.”


Figure 2: CL band statistical ring modulator form the AP_SUNY CML

The over 25 statistically enabled compact models in the AP_SUNY v4.0a CML empower photonic circuit designers to perform Monte-Carlo analysis in Lumerical INTERCONNECT to account for manufacturing variations in waveguide width, height and doping profiles (active elements). Figure 2 shows one of the 16 statistically enabled active elements in the AP_SUNY v4.0a CML. The compact model for this c-band ring modulator accounts for fabrication variations in the width and height of the ring waveguide. The plots show the variations in the resonant wavelength and the FSR of the ring from a Monte Carlo simulation run in INTERCONNECT.

“The simulation capabilities enabled by the AIM CML in Lumerical’s INTERCONNECT allows us to focus on the application of our designs rather than worry about the function of the individual components, which significantly accelerates our development timelines. The new release that adds the ability to address yield analysis through Monte Carlo simulations in INTERCONNECT will be a critical element in the path to commercialization of our technology.”
– Phase Sensitive Innovation’s Timothy Creazzo

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Note: NY CREATES now manages the fabrication facilities in Albany, NY and oversees all AIM Photonics operations. Future versions of the PDK will be renamed to reflect this change. Visit for more details.

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