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    PhoeniX: Major New Release of OptoDesigner

    April 21 2017     |     comments

    PhoeniX Software, the leader in Photonic IC design solutions has announced OptoDesigner 5.1. This latest release provides a significant performance boost for design synthesis and compilation (up to two orders of magnitude faster) and is loaded with new functionality to improve photonic integrated circuit (PIC) designer productivity.

    Additionally, the 5.1 release expands PhoeniX Software’s design automation footprint by including several new and improved interfaces to partner companies such as Cadence Design Systems, Mentor Graphics, Synopsys, Lumerical and VPIphotonics.


    With the 5.1 code stream we are seeing dramatic reductions in runtimes for netlist creation, design rule checking and GDS generation. 

    “Tool performance has increased across the board”, according to Arjen Bakker, CTO and co-founder at PhoeniX Software. “With the 5.1 code stream we are seeing dramatic reductions in runtimes for netlist creation, design rule checking and GDS generation. In some larger designs, we have measured up to two orders of magnitude faster compilation times. Really large designs that were previously taking hours to compile now compile in just a few minutes.”

    In addition to performance increases there have been several functional additions to 5.1 to aid designer productivity. One of these additions is a more automated and comprehensive set of waveguide routing algorithms to help designers connect up their photonic circuits. The Advanced Connectors and Routing module now includes a Manhattan style routing feature as well as a semi-automated relative way-point router that lets designers loosely specify general waveguide paths and then allows the tool to complete the actual geometries.

    The new capabilities also include automatic photonic-crossing insertion. Crossing styles can be controlled by the designer and the tool can even use user-specified crossing types. “We’ve worked hard on user interface improvements to help designers be more productive,” explains Sesilia Kriswandhi, Principal Technical Customer Liaison. “We’ve added many new wizards and templates to automate tasks for designers to build on top of the available proven libraries so they can move to higher levels of abstraction and be more creative and efficient. This includes things like a simplified definition for defining hierarchical building blocks and automating how we handle mundane things like port administration and bounding box generation.” This OptoDesigner 5.1 release has also greatly expanded its reach to other photonic and electronic design automation solutions.

    Both Synopsys and VPIphotonics have strengthened and improved their interfaces with OptoDesigner 5.1 through the PDAFlow API standard. New to the 5.1 is the support for more automated waveguide routing in the Mentor Pyxis environment using PDA-Link with OptoDesigner in server mode and a complete front-to-back electronic-photonic design flow with Cadence Design Systems and Lumerical Solutions.

    “We are really starting to see a surge in the number of customers interested in doing co-design of their electronic and photonic ICs”, says Twan Korthorst, CEO of PhoeniX Software. “These are leading edge customers who are helping PhoeniX Software and our partners define the next generation of photonic chip design. It’s truly an exciting time to be in working in this field”.

    Training sessions scheduled:

    • May 9 - May 11, 2017
      INPHOTEC course on Photonic Integrated Circuit Design and Fabrication

      Location: INPHOTEC, Pisa, Italy

      The aim of the courses promoted by the Integrated Photonic Technologies Center INPHOTEC of the Communication, Information and Perception Institute (TeCIP) of the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, in collaboration with the National Inter-University Consortium for Telecommunications (CNIT), is to strengthen skills in the design, fabrication and packaging of photonic integrated circuits.

      The training includes an extensive session about the OptoDesigner and the use of the INPHOTEC PDK. Read here for more information and online application

    • May 15 - May 17, 2017
      3 day course in photonic chip design at Tsinghua University, China

      Location: Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

      This hands-on training is the technical follow up to the SIMTAC event. In this training course hosted by Tsinghua University and supported by SIMTAC, you will get an overview of the latest status of the integrated photonics eco-system for the three major photonics technologies(SOI,InP,SiN).

      See the program for more information.

      Contact Phoenix ( to get more information on upcoming training sessions.

    The 5.1 release is available now for download from the PhoeniX Software website. For more information about the release please contact Niek Nijenhuis, Global Sales & Marketing manager at Please mention that you saw this news on the PhotonDelta website.