Home / Projects / Nazca Design: LAYOUT design

Nazca is an open-source photonic IC design software tool released under open source license AGPLv3. The foundry specific PDKs (the technology description) provided by Bright Photonics contain foundry intellectual property. Hence, these PDKs are under copyright and a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with the foundry and Bright Photonics. For both designer and foundry it is also critical to use an up-to-date and a validated PDK when submitting PIC designs for manufacturing. A continuous and dedicated effort is performed to keep the Nazca PDK quality at the highest level in the PIC industry. Therefore, Nazca PDKs for commercial foundries are available for a small subscription fee (only ~2% of the MPW cost) to support the validation and distribution of commercial PDKs. Nazca saves you 10s of thousands of Euros in licensing cost for tooling for the best possible layouts. If you would like to test and learn full Nazca PDKs functionality free of any charge, simply check out the DemoFab tutorials on the Nazca website. It will get you kick-started on any commercial MPW run as well.

Designer focused mask design, based on best practice of experienced PIC designers. Lowers technical, software and cost barriers to access MPW for beginner and experienced users. Focusses on reliable and reproducible designs for research and production environments. Provides high level design via drag & drop (in Klayout), and low-level design through new and intuitive connectivity concepts. Nazca propagates a design flow with enhanced visualization and control at GDS level to greatly improve mask inspection quality and maximize correct mask designs. Nazca is feature rich, with automated offsets, material models, quick custom BB loading, integrated GDS logo making, etc. It also provides direct layout-to-mode- solver integration and a robust hierarchical design for efficient mask reviews, design reuse, and an overall pleasant and joyful design experience. Nazca guarantees a fast learning curve for new designers by employing Python as the scripting platform. Nazca, being open source, guarantees maximum customizability by designers and the designer’s code is free from lock-in, maximizing reuse and open innovation.


Nazca Design Website provides documentation and access to training. Nazca philosophy is that very limited individual tool support is needed:
1. Nazca uses standard python solutions supported by large web communities,

2. Nazca code is open source and well documented

3. Nazca is feature rich to allow designers to employ all normal (and beyond) design tricks they may need for a professional mask layout without experiencing roadblocks

4. Contact Nazca at info@brightphotonics.eu

Installation instructions & tutorials

The links below provide you with instructions on installing Nazca Design and getting started with the software, as well as a full manual on the software tool.

Nazca Design also offers several tutorials for free that you can work through to get acquainted with the software.

ProductPrice, EURDescription
Nazca Design0Open source software available for download https://nazca-design.org.
PDK4953 months subscription (sufficient for 1 MPW cycle)
PDK7656 months subscription
PDK139512 months subscription
Mask Review495DRC report (design rule checks) with tips on improving your submitted layout.
Layout Support1595Layout support (by the creator of Nazca Design, Bright Photonics) for one MPW cell. Helps you avoid costly mistakes, helps you navigate PDK technology and provides tips on layout solutions.
Layout Support + PDK2095Mask Review + Layout Support + Nazca Design PDK and software for multiple users

Prices for Nazca PDK and design support, where applicable, are the same for new and recurring users. Products by Nazca can be acquired directly at Nazca Website