Design and Automation for Silicon Photonics Integration


Priyank Kalla

Priyank Kalla , University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA


The course will cover basic theory and technology for integrated optics, with focus on Silicon-based integrated optics. While integrated optics is a vast field, we will cover a selected list of topics that are needed for an understanding of opto-electronic systems with particular applications in computing and communication systems. As it is desirable to integrate optical devices on a larger scale, we will focus mostly on linear optical technologies that are amenable to such an integration with electronic systems in conventional silicon manufacturing processes. The tutorial is targeted toward electrical and computer engineers and computer scientists, and should be accessible to graduate students in these areas. Tentative topics are:

  1. Introduction to Integrated Optics
    • Semiconductor optics
    • Silicon based integrated optics: challenges and opportunities
    • Applications of integrated optics
    • Integrated optics in computing and communication systems
  2. Getting Started: Wave Equations
    • Wave, plane wave and Fresnel’s equations
    • Phase and polarization
    • Snell’s laws and total internal reflection
  3. Semiconductor Waveguides
    • Waveguide modes
    • Planar/slab & rectangular waveguides
    • Waveguide modes & ray-optics
    • SOI waveguides and their design
    • Losses in optical waveguides and measurements
  4. Coupling
    • Fundamentals
    • Coupling to waveguides
    • Grating couplers
    • Coupling between waveguides and directional couplers
  5. Electro-Optic Modulation
    • Electro-optic effects
    • Refractive index changes: Pockels and Kerr effects
    • Carrier effect modulation
    • Mach-Zehnder Interferometry (MZI)
  6. Ring Resonators
    • Si-microring resonators (MRRs)
    • FSR & Q-factor
    • Application as MUX/DeMUX and switches
    • Application in on-chip photonic networks
  7. Photodetectors
  8. Thermal Effects in Silicon Photonics
    • Steady-state heat conduction
    • Temperature and refractive index: thermal modulation & phase change
    • Temperature effects on ring resonators
    • Thermal compensation
    • Thermal gradient computation: dynamic and static compensation
    • Application: Photonic networks on-chip
  9. Optical Logic with Linear Optical Techniques
    • MZI’s and MRRs as switches
    • Logic design in integrated optics
    • BDD Mapping and virtual gate logic synthesis methodologies
    • Challenges
  10. Design Automation for Integrated Optics
    • Physical design flow: placement & routing
    • Channel routing for SOI waveguides
    • Exploiting Waveguide crossings, curvatures and bends
    • Overall methodologies
  11. Simulation & Validation Tools and Test Infrastructure
    • Mode solvers
    • Wave propagation/FDTD
    • Beam propagation methods
    • Electro-optical interfacing and probe stations
    • DFT techniques
  12. Contemporary and Future Needs
    • Compact Modeling
    • Accounting for variability
    • Need for low-loss modulation
    • Conclusion