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Design and simulation of silicon photonic schematics and layouts

Publication Type:

Journal Article


SPIE Europe (2016)


Electronic circuit designers commonly start their design process with a schematic, namely an abstract representation of the physical circuit. In integrated photonics on the other hand, it is common for the design to begin at the physical component level, and create a layout by connecting components with interconnects. In this paper, we discuss how to create a schematic from the physical layout via netlist extraction, which enables circuit simulations. Post-layout extraction can also be used to predict how fabrication variability and non-uniformity will impact circuit performance. This is based on the component position information, compact models that are parameterized for dimensional variations, and manufacturing variability models such as a simulated wafer thickness map. This final step is critical in understanding how real-world silicon photonic circuits will behave. We present an example based on treating the ring resonator as a circuit.
A silicon photonics design kit, as described here, is available for download at

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Research Area(s): 
Photonics and Optics