Welcome to the IPKISS project

Dear IPKISS users. IPKISS is now further developed and offered by Luceda Photonics

Commercial and research licenses are available.

IPKISS is a parametric design framework focused (but not limited) to Photonic circuit design, originally constructed at Ghent University and IMEC. Through a python scripting interface, IPKISS allows the designer a fine-grained control of the different steps in photonic design.
  • Component layout
  • Virtual fabrication of components in different technologies
  • Physical simulation of components using CAMFR mode solving and MEEP FDTD (other tools coming)
  • Embedding behavioral models
  • Defining circuit interconnectivity (Netlists)
  • Running time-domain and frequency domain simulation in Caphe.
  • Elementary place and routing of photonic circuits
  • Generating design rule decks for verfication in Calibre.
  • Running component tests and driving measurement equipment.
the Python language provides a standard interface, and at the same time enables the interaction with different internal and third-party tools.

Design with IPKISS. Full circle from concept to circuit layout

In April 2012, an Open Source release of IPKISS was made available under a GPL version 2 license. This allowed to build up a community of users. IPKISS was also made available under other licenses. As of June 2014, IPKISS is further developed by Luceda Photonics and is available under licenses for commercial as well as research use.

Contact Luceda at info@lucedaphotonics.com if you would like to obtain further information.


IPKISS 2.4.4 release

posted 22 Nov 2013, 08:14 by Martin Fiers   [ updated 22 Nov 2013, 08:17 ]

Today we released the 2.4.4 version of IPKISS. The new version can be downloaded from the download section. See the attachment for the changelog.

Try our new Online Interactive Python notebooks

posted 23 Sep 2013, 13:40 by Wim Bogaerts

Interested in trying out IPKISS, but not yet ready to install it on your system? You can experiment with the IPKISS framework right from your browser. Using interactive Python notebooks, you can write IPKISS scripts, generate layouts and run small simulations on our IPKISS server. Want to try it?

Visit us at Group IV Photonics 2013

posted 22 Aug 2013, 11:23 by Wim Bogaerts

We will show IPKISS at the IEEE Group IV Photonics conference in Seaoul, 27-29 August 2013. Come visit us at our booth for a live demonstrations. We are very interested in discussing the design challenges you face and how IPKISS can contribute to your design flow. http://www.gfp-ieee.org/

IPKISS Tutorial at NUSOD2013

posted 22 Aug 2013, 11:18 by Wim Bogaerts   [ updated 22 Aug 2013, 11:19 ]

We present a two-hour IPKISS Tutorial at the Workshop on Numerical Simulation of Optical Devices (NUSOD), held in Vancouver 19-22 August. Attend the workshop and try IPKISS hands-on using the new web interface: Design optical components and circuits in the cloud. http://nusod.org/2013/

Open Source release of IPKISS

posted 15 Apr 2012, 11:32 by Pieter Dumon

Ghent University and imec report Open Source software release of IPKISS, a parametric design environment for integrated photonics


Brussels (Belgium) – April 17, 2012 – Ghent University and imec announce the launch of IPKISS as open source software platform. IPKISS is a generic and modular software framework for parametric design of photonic integrated components and circuits.  The software platform is made available by means of a GPLv2-licensed code base (free of charge), a custom developer license and a custom commercial license. With this launch, Ghent University and imec provide the integrated photonics design community access to a powerful and flexible software platform.


What is the IPKISS Software Framework ?

IPKISS was originally conceived in 2002 by the Photonic Research Group of Ghent University and imec as a programmable generator of Mask Layouts (GDSII) written in Python, but has since then evolved significantly.

Its main use is currently the design of photonic components and complex photonic integrated circuits. In IPKISS, a designer can quickly define photonic components, directly simulate them in electromagnetic solvers and integrate them in a circuit on a photomask for fabrication. For this, IPKISS integrates easily with popular third-party simulators.

While currently most applicable to photonics, IPKISS is conceived as a generic and flexible framework. IPKISS can be customized for use (and is already used) in many other domains related to micro- and nano-electronics (microfluidics, plasmonics, MEMS, etc).

IPKISS is based on scripting in Python, which makes it easy to learn and extremely flexible in use. Through Python scripting, the user specifies in an analytical manner how a component is represented in terms of parameters. Internally, the component knows how to generate its layout, its input/output connections with other components, its internal circuit representations, etc. This ensures a separation between the formal specification of a component or circuit and different representations that can be derived (e.g. a mask layout in GDSII, a 2D or 3Dmodel, a circuit model). Components can be defined to accept outside technology information provided by the fab, effectively allowing a design that could be fabricated in different locations. Design kits for imec’s silicon photonics technologies are made available through ePIXfab, a European foundry service for Silicon Photonics prototyping and through imec directly for customized photonic IC development.

This IPKISS design approach is powerful and flexible, while at the same time very accurate, resulting in a productive design cycle with little margin for copy-and-paste errors: This contrasts with a design workflow which is static and cannot be influenced by the user, or where the user is limited to the functionality provided in a graphical user interface. Users of IPKISS will have access to a powerful and flexible software platform that can catalyze their research with a relatively small incremental effort.

This software platform is now made available free of charge to the broad community.

Source code licenses

The IPKISS framework is made available under different open source licenses.

·         Community:  A GPLv2-licensed code base of IPKISS will allow access to the framework free of cost.  The objective of this license scheme is to stimulate the people in developing on the IPKISS framework, so a thriving community can evolve around the framework.

  • Developer: A custom license at modest annual fee that allows the licensee to develop plug-ins and add-ons for distribution.

  • Custom commercial: This license is targeted as software developers who wish to incorporate IPKISS into a product, and therefore bundle a (modified) version of the code base with their own additions. This license and its cost will be tailored to each individual case.

Further information on the platform can be found on http://www.ipkiss.org



The platform will be launched at SPIE Photonics Europe 2012 – Exhibitor Product Demonstrations, Tuesday April 17th, 1:30PM.

Come and visit us also at the SPIE Photonics Europe 2012 Innovation Village and European Network space 24: ePIXfab - IPKISS booth

News release can be downloaded at http://www2.imec.be/be_en/press/imec-news/ipkiss.html or at http://www.ipkiss.org or email wim.bogaerts@ugent.be


Open Source release planned for April 2012

posted 27 Mar 2012, 22:54 by Wim Bogaerts

The Open Source release of IPKISS is scheduled for April 2012. Please stay tuned.

IPKISS goes Open Source

posted 5 Dec 2011, 06:31 by Wim Bogaerts

Early 2012, the IPKISS framework will be released as Open Source software. Multiple licensing schemes will be possible, including a free GPLv2 version.

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