Photonics Design

IPKISS for Silicon Photonics

The IPKISS software platform is conceived as a modular system. While its main application is currently in the design of photonic components and circuits, it can be customized for use in many domains related to micro- and nano-electronics (microfluidics, plasmonics, MEMS, etc). It consists of :
  • the IPKISS engine
  • plug-ins for photonics design
  • the Picazzo photonic component library
  • the simulation framework PySimul

At its core is the IPKISS engine, which consists of basic functionality and management routines. It provides:
  • an object-oriented approach towards defining parametric components (PCells), including hierarchical structuring of components, with quite a lot of Python 'magic' to ensure the user has to write a minimum of code in a very human-readable way.
  • a large number of geometrical primitives for easily generating complex shapes (arc, bend, circle, ellipse, rectangle, wedge, Bezier curves, etc.) 
  • complex transformations such as rotation, translation, magnification, scaling, horizontal, vertical and center-point mirroring, etc.
  • single referencing and array referencing of components
  • exporting to GDSII, importing and manipulating existing GDSII files into a layout   
  • filter functions for manipulating paths and boundaries
  • importing of HPGL plotter files that can be converted to paths or boundaries

For application in photonics, the following plug-ins are provided :

  • a plug-in for the design of photonic components, which adds the following functionalities to IPKISS :
    • optical input and output ports of a component 
    • waveguide definitions : any combination of layers can be applied to a geometrical shape to generate complex waveguides  
    • automatic routing between components  
    • process/purpose layers 
    • technology settings for the ePixFab processes at IMEC and the advanced passives process at LETI
  • a plug-in for virtual fabrication and visualization :
    • a geometrical representation of the physical fabrication
    • advanced visualization (2-D and 3-D) to verify the design layers  match the expected result after fabrication with a particular process flow.
  • integration with the simulation framework Pysimul (see below)

The PICAZZO component library is a collection of photonic components, such as :
  • splitters
  • tapers
  • ring resonators
  • gratings and fiber couplers
  • Multi-mode interferometers (MMI)
  • Mach-Zehnder Interferometers (MZI)
  • spirals
  • apertures
  • crossings
  • classes for ordering components in a structured layout
  • containers which can apply operations on a component, such as fanning out at the input/output ports, automatically routing at the ports, suppressing ports, etc.
  • specific, more advanced components can be provided by Ghent University on a selective basis to partners for specific research projects: e.g. Arrayed Waveguide Gratings, Echelle Gratings, advanced Grating couplers

Pysimul offers interfaces to simulation tools :

  • exporting a component’s geometry to simulation tools such as the mode solver CAMFR (2D) and Meep FDTD (2D and 3D)
  • calculation of mode profiles with CAMFR and shaping of a 2D-source in Meep FDTD according to this mode profile
  • higher level commands to parameterize and run the simulation, which can optionally be used as alternatives to the lower-level Python-Meep or CAMFR commands. The geometry is exported from Ipkiss and IPKISS generates a low-level Python-Meep script.
  • A circuit-level interface to the Caphe circuit simulator