Ansys in Silicon Photonics Partnership with GlobalFoundries

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PITTSBURGH March 7, 2022 – Ansys (NASDAQ: ANSS) announced it is collaborating with GlobalFoundries to deliver silicon photonics solutions., using photons — instead of electrons — to transfer and move data, supporting GF’s position in the optical networking space.

GF Fotonix is GF’s monolithic platform, “the first in the industry to combine its differentiated 300mm photonics and RF-CMOS features on a silicon wafer, delivering best-in-class performance at scale,” according to GlobalFoundries.

“By coupling GF Fotonix with Ansys’ industry-leading simulation solutions, we are reaching new levels in photonic chip design,” said Mike Cadigan, senior vice president for Customer Design Enablement, GF. “With support for Verilog-A simulation and process-enabled custom design, designers have greater modeling capabilities to meet their performance, power, and density requirements.”

Recognizing the importance of custom component design to meet the strict requirements of today’s advanced applications, GF and Ansys together developed the first process file to support the growing demand for the GF Fotonix platform. With the process file, customers can create custom components to consolidate complex processing onto a single chip for high-speed, low power consumption data transmission, improving product and energy efficiency.

The process file works in tandem with Ansys’ photonics simulation software, enabling designers to simulate 3D geometries with predictive accuracy, including correct layer thicknesses, material data and more, in accordance with GF’s design flow and process design kit specifications.

GF will also leverage the Ansys Lumerical Photonic Verilog-A Platform, which enables photonics modeling using Verilog-A, an industry-standard modeling language for electrical analog circuits. This provides the ability to combine custom components and foundry process design kit (PDK) components in the same circuit, both modelled using Verilog-A, and to run sophisticated bidirectional photonic circuit simulation, which advances design capabilities for optical networking, communication, and connectivity such as chip-to-chip, fiber optics, and 5G.

“Integrating Ansys’ simulation solutions into GF’s design flow for custom SiPh chips opens new doors for innovation within the photonics industry,” said John Lee, vice president and general manager of the electronics, semiconductor and optics business unit at Ansys. “This collaboration supplies designers with enhanced tools to leverage photonics simulation for high-performance solutions in optical applications across industries from next-generation connectivity to supercomputing and more.”

GF Fotonix will be made at the company’s advanced manufacturing facility in Malta, N.Y., with PDK 1.0 available in April 2022.