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News | April 2, 2024

AIM Photonics Adds New PIC Component Library

AIM Photonics and Spark Photonics recently released a new photonic integrated circuit (PIC) component library developed by Spark Photonics for use in AIM Photonics’ process design kit (PDK) for its silicon nitride passive PIC technology platform.

PDKs are essential collections of files, parameters, and models that define the manufacturing process for integrated photonics devices. Component libraries within the PDKs provide pre-designed and characterized building blocks that designers can leverage to accelerate their design cycle times, enhance design consistency, and facilitate collaboration with the manufacturing team.

Simulation of optical power in a grating coupler at 785 nm wavelength

The Spark Photonics component library features components operating in the 700–1300 nm wavelength band, enabling a wide range of applications on AIM Photonics’ silicon nitride platform. Components in the library include waveguides, Y-branches, multimode interference (MMI) couplers, layer transitions, edge couplers, grating couplers, and a polarization rotator.

“It’s important that we enable designers to use these shorter wavelengths to advance the state of the art in PICs,” said Kevin McComber, CEO of Spark Photonics. “We’re grateful to be able to do this with our partners at AIM Photonics and to have benefitted from the extensive PDK development expertise of our software partners at Luceda Photonics.”

Simulation of electric field intensity in a 1x2 MMI at 700 nm wavelength

PDKs typically cover a broad application space but can also be focused on emerging areas like sensor technology, which often operates outside the typical communications wavelengths of 1310 nm and 1550 nm. Building sensors on a PIC involves the integration of optical components on a single chip to create compact and efficient devices for various sensing applications, including biomedical sensing, defense and security, automotive LiDAR, aerospace navigation and surveillance, and environmental monitoring. The wavelengths in the Spark Photonics component library lend themselves very well to numerous sensing applications.

“The addition of Spark Photonics’ component library provides another layer of options for our members’ and customers’ PIC prototype designs, particularly in sensors,” said Amit Dikshit, AIM Photonics’ design enablement manager. “As PIC technology continues to advance, we look forward to working with Spark Photonics and our other design automation partners to continue to provide affordable access to the tools needed to more fully develop and commercialize this critical technology.”

AIM Photonics’ silicon nitride PDK is currently supported in Luceda, KLayout, gdsfactory, and Cadence design platforms, with plans underway to include Synopsys in the near future.

Spark Photonics has been a member of AIM Photonics since 2021. Previous collaborative efforts between AIM Photonics and Spark Photonics have included the release of the Spark Photonics component library on AIM Photonics’ active and passive PIC technology platforms, and the release of three AIM Photonics Education and Workforce Development PIC Kits distributed by Spark.

For more information about Spark Photonics’ component library for AIM Photonics’ silicon nitride passive PIC technology platform, please send an email to or complete our online information request form.