Long haul fiber optics have served as the back end of the internet for decades, while radio frequencies have maintained dominion over front end applications. Although this division has proven successful, as the entire world is connected to the internet and streaming/cloud become the default service models; demands for higher data rates will stretch existing network capacity to its limits. Networks of the future will have to be designed around this expectation taking advantage of the unprecedented amounts of bandwidth available through photonic channels. Recent industry trends of reducing data center bottlenecks and higher speed internet connections will continue to push photonics upstream into server architecture and downstream to the consumer’s door. In addition, hybrid network topologies for 5G and 6G technology will break this back/front end division. Resulting in more distributed networks that employ photonic links between ever more dense radio-frequency nodes. For more information, please view the webinar video for Get Ready for 5G with Cadence/Lumerical PAM-4 Reference Flow.
Optical data communications is fundamental to PIC and Lumerical’s core user base. We have developed many of our tools and features with the datacoms community in mind. Whether you are a circuit designer, or an electro-optic device engineer; working on long-haul fiber optic transmission, integrated photonics, or free space communications we have numerous motivating application examples to help get you started or inspired with your next computer-aided design project. Due to the extent of our communications application examples, we have broken them into active, passive devices and circuit categories. For those developing or working with foundry components, you may be interested in the Compact Library Model Compiler.