Brussels (Belgium) – April 17, 2012
– 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
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.
What is the
IPKISS Software Framework ?
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, but has since then evolved significantly.
Its main use is currently 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
(and is already used) in many other domains related to micro- and
nano-electronics (microfluidics, plasmonics, MEMS, etc).
IPKISS is based on scripting in Python, which makes it easy to learn
and extremely flexible in use. Through Python scripting, 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, its input/output connections with other components, its
internal circuit representations, etc. 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, a 2D or 3Dmodel, a 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, a European foundry service for
Silicon Photonics prototyping and through imec directly for
customized photonic IC development.
This IPKISS design approach is powerful and
flexible, while at the same time very accurate, resulting in a
productive design cycle with little margin for copy-and-paste
errors: This contrasts with a design workflow which is static and
cannot be influenced by the user, or where the user is limited to
the functionality provided in a graphical user interface. Users of
IPKISS will have access to a powerful and flexible software platform
that can catalyze their research with a relatively small incremental
This software platform is now made
available free of charge to the broad community.
The IPKISS framework is made
available under different open source licenses.
A GPLv2-licensed code base of
IPKISS will allow access to the framework free of cost.
The objective of this license
scheme is to stimulate the people in developing on the IPKISS
framework, so a thriving community can evolve around the framework.
A custom license at modest annual fee that allows the licensee to
develop plug-ins and add-ons for distribution.
This license is targeted as software developers who wish to
incorporate IPKISS into a product, and therefore bundle a (modified)
version of the code base with their own additions. This license and
its cost will be tailored to each individual case.
information on the platform can be found on
platform will be launched at SPIE Photonics Europe 2012 – Exhibitor
Product Demonstrations, Tuesday April 17th, 1:30PM.
Come and visit us also at the SPIE Photonics Europe 2012 Innovation
and European Network space 24: ePIXfab - IPKISS booth
News release can be downloaded at
http://www2.imec.be/be_en/press/imec-news/ipkiss.html or at
http://www.ipkiss.org or email
Wim Bogaerts, PhD, IPKISS author and developer,
T: +32 9 264 33 24,
Hanne Degans, External Communications Officer,
T: +32 16 28 17 69,