PhoeniX Software Releases An Updated OptoDesigner, Adds Enhanced Component Placement And Waveguide Routing Feature

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PhoeniX Software has been a pioneer in photonics design automation since 1991. With a wide range of users and partner organizations the company is leveraging integrated photonics, microfluidics, MEMS, printed electronics and other micro and nano technologies to help worldwide organizations improve quality, reduce time to market and enhance their research. Below is our interview with Niek Nijenhuis, Global Sales & Marketing manager at PhoeniX Software:

Q: You’ve recently announced OptoDesigner 5.1.4; could you tell us something more?

A: This new Version adds Enhanced component placement and waveguide routing feature.

Q: What are main benefits for your users?

A: This new version of OptoDesigner focuses on adding more automation to the design layout process while providing the foundation for the eventual synthesis, placement and routing of full photonic circuits. Some main benefits are speed, flexibility and automation.

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Q: What is Manhattan routing and how does it work?

A: In addition to referenceable boundary ports, the new software also adds a feature called waypoint-assisted Manhattan routing. As the name implies, Manhattan routing is metal or waveguide routing in which all straight connectors run either horizontally or vertically, connected by corners. Instead of manually defining a series of bends and straights, waypoint-assisted routing allows one to simply define a few waypoints through which the routing must run. The connections between the waypoints are then automatically routed. Waypoint-assisted routing can also be combined with boundary ports whereby the waypoints can be specified relative to boundary ports of components and other waveguides. As components move and adjust their size, routing automatically adjusts to accommodate new components sizes and positions.

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Q: Tell us something about phase-aware waveguide routing solution; why is it better than the previous one?

A: A third enhancement enables what is known as phase-aware waveguide routing. This feature enables PDK storage of effective index and group index as a function of the wavelength and the width and radius of a waveguide. This information can be combined with optimization routines to automatically route waveguides that have specific phase relationships with other waveguides. Before this, calculating the optical length of a complex waveguide path was extremely difficult. The new feature enables designers to be able to do this through a simple command. The information is also a key building block for future photonic synthesis algorithms that will be able to use these phase relationships when synthesizing circuits.

Q: What are your plans for the next four months?

A: Market our new release OptoDesigner 5.1.4. and gain customer feedback for our upcoming release in Q1 2018.