By Andy Choi
Ghent University and imec have reported an open source software release of IPKISS. It is a modular yet generic software framework, a platform that supports the parametric design of photonic integrated components and circuits.
The software platform can be accessed via a custom commercial license, a GPLv2-licensed code base, which is free of charge, and a custom developer license.
IPKISS emerged in 2002 as a programmable generator of Mask Layouts (GDSII) written in Python, by Ghent University’s and imec’s Photonic Research Group. Its emergence has since then evolved considerably.
The general application of this modular IPKISS software includes fabricating complex photonic integrated circuits and photonic components. It enables designers to rapidly define photonic components and simulate these components in electromagnetic solvers and incorporate them within a photomask- circuit for production. IPKISS ensures simple integration with popular third-party simulators.
IPKISS emerged as a generic and versatile framework. It can be modified for use in other related domains such as micro- and nano-electronics.
IPKISS uses scripting in Python, through which users can analytically illustrate the representation of component in terms of parameters. The component has the potential to generate its input/output connections with other components, its layout, and its internal circuit representations. Hence, the formal specification of a circuit or component does not merge with various representations derived such as a mask layout in a circuit model, GDSII, a 2D or 3Dmodel. Customization of components enables compliance with outside technology information by fab, ensuring design fabrication ing in different locations.
ePIXfab, an European foundry service, provides design kits for imec’s silicon photonics technologies. This software is free of cost.
The IPKISS framework can be accessed under different open source licenses such as developer, community, and custom commercial.