PIC Design Course 2020

26 October – 6 November, virtual

The 2020 edition goes virtual! The course was offered fully online this year.

The Deep-Dive PIC Design Course is a technology training scheduled for two weeks starting from Monday 26th October 2020 and was held online. The course covered the theory and practice of integrated photonic component and circuit design using the powerful JePPIX building blocks. Layout and simulation methods were explored with JePPIX software partners and professional designers in hands on sessions. This course was particularly suitable to engineers who wish to create their first MPW chips and for new PhD students in the field of photonics.

The course provided both the underlying know-how to enable an understanding of the design space, and the practical skills to implement designs. Participants with specific circuit specifications in mind also benefitted by being able to think through their designs with on-site experts. Due to COVID19 measurements in the Netherlands, the course was hosted fully online.


Learning Objectives

Participants gained the ability to identify and specify building blocks and connect building blocks and layout for the creation of functional photonic integrated circuits. Participants used a range of simulation and design tools suited for active and passive components and circuits and are now able to use foundry specific process design kits to predict circuit performance and create the file sets required for a multi-project wafer run.


Required prior knowledge

The course was expected to be relevant to engineers and scientists who have an awareness of photonics and the underlying principles, and who wish to extend this knowledge to create their first photonic integrated circuits on open access foundries.



Trainees developed insights into mode analysis to better understand the design space for waveguide based integrated optics and how best to construct interferometers and filters. Active building blocks including semiconductor optical amplifiers, modulators and detectors were introduced in terms of physical principles and practical implementation as components and circuit elements. Methods for laying out circuits were developed. Hybrid and monolithic integration schemes were described.

There was also an emphasis on practical skills, with the opportunity to trial commercial CAD tools, process design kits (PDKs) and to develop insights with expert designers and leading academic instructors. Representatives from the foundries were also be available to talk through the latest platform capabilities. Packaging was also reviewed to ensure package, test and manufacture aware design.