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Ghent and imec release IPKISS

18 Apr 2012

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Ghent University and imec announce the launch of IPKISS as open source software platform. IPKISS is a generic and modular software framework for parametric design of photonic integrated components and circuits.

The software platform is made available by means of a GPLv2-licensed code base (free of charge), a custom developer license and a custom commercial license. With this launch, Ghent University and imec provide the integrated photonics design community access to a powerful and flexible software platform.

IPKISS was originally conceived in 2002 by the Photonic Research Group of Ghent University and imec as a programmable generator of Mask Layouts (GDSII) written in Python. At present, it is used for the design of photonic components and complex photonic integrated circuits. In IPKISS, a designer can quickly define photonic components, directly simulate them in electromagnetic solvers and integrate them in a circuit on a photomask for fabrication. For this, IPKISS integrates easily with popular third-party simulators.

While currently most applicable to photonics, IPKISS is conceived as a generic and flexible framework. IPKISS can be customized for use in other domains related to micro- and nano-electronics (microfluidics, plasmonics, MEMS).

IPKISS is based on scripting in Python, wherein the user specifies in an analytical manner how a component is represented in terms of parameters. Internally, the component knows how to generate its layout, input/output connections with other components, and internal circuit representations. This ensures a separation between the formal specification of a component or circuit and different representations that can be derived (e.g. a mask layout in GDSII, 2D or 3Dmodel, circuit model). Components can be defined to accept outside technology information provided by the fab, effectively allowing a design that could be fabricated in different locations. Design kits for imec's silicon photonics technologies are made available through ePIXfab.

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