Lumerical’s INTERCONNECT 2.0 release provides a schematic-driven PIC design framework

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Lumerical’s INTERCONNECT 2.0 release provides a schematic-driven photonic integrated circuit design framework that can incorporate statistical variations in one or more circuit elements

Vancouver, BC (September 12, 2012)

Lumerical Solutions, Inc., a Vancouver-based provider of optoelectronic component and photonic integrated circuit (PIC) design software, today announced the release of INTERCONNECT 2.0.  Release 2.0 of INTERCONNECT enables PIC designers to more quickly explore the role of circuit architecture and statistical component variations on overall circuit performance.  New features include an improved frequency-domain calculation engine which can compute circuit performance significantly faster, a custom s-parameter element which can accept measured or simulated data of arbitrary complexity including complete characterization data for multimode, many-port elements, and a yield calculator that produces Monte Carlo performance estimates based on statistical variations of one or more circuit parameters.

Yield Calculator Supports Different Designer Profiles
INTERCONNECT has been engineered, since the original product concept, to support both device and circuit designers.  Device designers are interested in component dimensions and material compositions, often with the goal of designing new proprietary circuit elements that work well with adjacent components.  Circuit designers are focused on achieving desired target performance and are often only interested in using element-level transfer functions and compact models to predict system behavior. INTERCONNECT 2.0’s yield calculator, which accepts statistical variations at the element level whether they apply to physical or phenomenological parameters, continues to support both designer profiles.

Professor Lukas Chrostowski of the University of British Columbia, and Director of the NSERC CREATE Si-EPIC training program, believes that device designers will benefit from INTERCONNECT’s integration with MODE Solutions and FDTD Solutions.  “The software can be used to design devices such as ring resonators, waveguide Bragg gratings, arrayed waveguide gratings, and fibre grating couplers, and to study the performance of components within simple circuits,” he said.  “For example, reflections from components such as grating couplers often introduce undesired ripple in the optical spectrum, and this can be simulated using INTERCONNECT.”

As photonic integrated circuits are complex and require multi-physics simulation, the ability to create hierarchically-defined elements from single devices like a modulator to entire transmitter subsystems is very important.  Being able to experimentally verify these devices and subsystems and incorporate that data into a single design environment together with statistical variations at every level of the design hierarchy promises to streamline the design process.

“In response to ongoing requests for a framework that goes beyond idealized representations, INTERCONNECT 2.0 can incorporate statistical variations of geometrical or compact-model parameters,” according to Dr. Jackson Klein, Senior Product Manager of INTERCONNECT. “Together with INTERCONNECT’s hierarchical model definition, proprietary component-level IP can be easily incorporated into more sophisticated circuit models of arbitrary complexity.”

INTERCONNECT’s ability to model multimode, many-port circuits of arbitrary complexity and physical sophistication means it will play a critical role as designers explore circuit designs incorporating proprietary elements and ever-increasing component count.  “We look forward to our ongoing discussions with industry and foundry representatives, public and private companies, and government laboratories to refine INTERCONNECT’s capabilities so that it can best serve the emerging needs of the photonic integrated circuit design community,” says Dr. James Pond, Lumerical’s Chief Technology Officer.

University of Delaware Professor and Director of OpSIS Michael Hochberg has extensive experience working with Lumerical.  “We’re very happy with their tools and investment in the INTERCONNECT product,” he said.  “At OpSIS, our goal is to provide to anyone in the world with advanced silicon photonics processes for their own projects, while only paying for the wafer area that they use.  Doing schematic-driven design is really critical for making complex photonic circuits, and to make it easy for our users to lay out and simulate systems-on-chip we are now working with Lumerical to integrate OpSIS device libraries with their tools.”

Unlike Lumerical’s component-level modeling tools, INTERCONNECT allows designers to compose conceptual schematic representations of photonic integrated circuits from interconnected multiport elements.  Each circuit element can be described by analytic expressions, semi-empirical models or user-defined custom descriptions based on imported characterization data or the output of a TCAD simulator including Lumerical’s FDTD Solutions, MODE Solutions, and DEVICE tools.  More information about INTERCONNECT, and a free 30-day evaluation version of the product, can be found at

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