Synopsys OptoDesigner

The Photonic Chip and Mask Layout tool is the design cockpit of Synopsys OptoDesigner for creating PIC designs, when a designer likes to work in a layout-driven flow. This module is also the cockpit to adjust a design, when the PIC schematic has been captured and simulated with Synopsys OptSim Circuit.

The environment supports hierarchy and re-use of components. Start your design by selecting elements from extensive supplied libraries. Then, create your own parameterized building blocks. The connectivity between elements is automatically maintained when you make changes elsewhere. Once your design is finished, the powerful discretization engine generates final mask data in one of the many supported export formats.

Add-on modules provided in Synopsys OptoDesigner can be used to perform many types of simulations on your PIC designs. Other modules automate repetitive tasks to make you more productive. Synopsys OptoDesigner and its modules deliver an unmatched PIC design environment.


  • Efficient, comprehensive PIC design environment
  • Fewer errors
  • Improved design productivity
  • Infrastructure for your organization to capture and reuse knowledge
  • Many supported foundry PDKs, access to many technologies
  • Reliable and mature solution used in more than 500 tape-outs in the last three years


Synopsys OptoDesigner can be used to design PICs for any technology, for a range of industries including telecom, datacom, sensing, and biomedical.


  • All angle connectivity to ensure components will stay connected when they need to be
  • Easy to design and customize curved elements
  • Extensive libraries with many primitives and components
  • Powerful scripting language to automate all your design tasks
  • Unlimited levels of hierarchy, simplifying design reuse
  • Define your own PDK or use one of the many available foundry PDKs
  • The use of Design Intent to simplify mask data generation. Design Intent ensures that users can design in a single layer (the design intent layer) and that the software generates all the different mask layers needed for actual production
  • Technology-agnostic method for defining elements. Ability to port the same design between different technologies
  • Powerful add-on simulation modules for mode calculations and propagation calculations
  • Import and export to formats such as GDSII and CIF
  • Ability to define your own GDS libraries using extensive caching capabilities
  • Many interfaces to third-party tools

Add-On Modules

Improve your productivity with the Synopsys OptoDesigner Photonic Chip and Mask Layout add-on modules:

Figure: Layout of a Mach-Zehnder interferometer.