PhoeniX Software Announces OptoDesigner 5.1

PhoeniX Software

The 5.1 release is available now for download from the PhoeniX Software website. For more information about the release please contact Niek Nijenhuis, Global Sales & Marketing manager at

Enschede, The Netherlands, March 6, 2017 – PhoeniX Software, the leader in Photonic IC design solutions, today announced OptoDesigner 5.1. The 5.1 release provides a significant performance boost for design synthesis and compilation (up to two orders of magnitude faster) and is loaded with new functionality to improve photonic integrated circuit (PIC) designer productivity. Additionally, the 5.1 release expands PhoeniX Software’s design automation footprint by including several new and improved interfaces to partner companies such as Cadence Design Systems, Mentor Graphics, Synopsys, Lumerical and VPIphotonics.

“Tool performance has increased across the board”, said Arjen Bakker, CTO and co-founder at PhoeniX Software. “With the 5.1 code stream we are seeing dramatic reductions in runtimes for netlist creation, design rule checking and GDS generation. In some larger designs, we have measured up to two orders of magnitude faster compilation times. Really large designs that were previously taking hours to compile now compile in just a few minutes.”

In addition to performance increases there have been several functional additions to 5.1 to aid designer productivity. One of these additions is a more automated and comprehensive set of waveguide routing algorithms to help designers connect up their photonic circuits. The Advanced Connectors and Routing module now includes a Manhattan style routing feature as well as a semi-automated relative way-point router that lets designers loosely specify general waveguide paths and then allows the tool to complete the actual geometries. The new capabilities also include automatic photonic-crossing insertion. Crossing styles can be controlled by the designer and the tool can even use user-specified crossing types.

“We’ve worked hard on user interface improvements to help designers be more productive,” said Sesilia Kriswandhi, Principal Technical Customer Liaison. “We’ve added many new wizards and templates to automate tasks for designers to build on top of the available proven libraries so they can move to higher levels of abstraction and be more creative and efficient. This includes things like a simplified definition for defining hierarchical building blocks and automating how we handle mundane things like port administration and bounding box generation.”

This OptoDesigner 5.1 release has also greatly expanded its reach to other photonic and electronic design automation solutions. Both Synopsys and VPIphotonics have strengthened and improved their interfaces with OptoDesigner 5.1 through the PDAFlow API standard. New to the 5.1 is the support for more automated waveguide routing in the Mentor Pyxis environment using PDA-Link with OptoDesigner in server mode and a complete front-to-back electronic-photonic design flow with Cadence Design Systems and Lumerical Solutions.

“We are really starting to see a surge in the number of customers interested in doing co-design of their electronic and photonic ICs”, said Twan Korthorst, CEO of PhoeniX Software. “These are leading edge customers who are helping PhoeniX Software and our partners define the next generation of photonic chip design. It’s truly an exciting time to be in working in this field”.

About PhoeniX Software
Pioneering photonics design automation already since 1991, today PhoeniX Software has a global presence and is a trusted and well recognized partner for a large number of organizations. PhoeniX Software enables the easy and cost-effective realization of integrated photonics chips and systems, by means of internally developed superior products and services. Customers range from large OEM’s to start-ups and include some of the world’s top universities and research institutes. As the leader in Photonic IC design solutions, PhoeniX Software will continue to support the transition of PIC technology from the lab into the fab, by anticipating market demand and customer needs. In combination with strategic partners, this results in offering world class design flows and access to all relevant fabrication technologies for our customers. For further information, please visit us at