The demand for faster data transmission and higher bandwidth in AI development has brought attention to the potential of photonic integrated circuits (PIC) in data center applications. Silicon photonics (SiPh) has gained traction due to its scalability, and Co-Packaged Optics (CPO), which integrates optics and silicon on a single packaged substrate, is also experiencing increased interest in the high-performance computing (HPC) sector.

Belgium-based Luceda Photonics, established in 2014 as an Imec spinoff, is at the forefront of this revolution. The company offers Luceda IPKISS, a photonics design tool aimed at providing the same level of convenience to the photonics chip design industry as is available in the electronic IC design sector. Unlike major EDA vendors with limited expertise in photonics design, Luceda provides a comprehensive design flow for photonic IC, including pre-defined algorithms for routing, layout, and simulation. Their design software, based on the Python language, automates and integrates all aspects of photonic design flow, enabling the sharing and re-using of photonic design IPs.

In addition to the IPKISS design tool, Luceda also offers an IP Manager module for testing and validating photonic IP building blocks, an Arrayed Waveguide Gratings (AWG) designer, and a wide range of foundry process design kits (PDKs) covering various material platforms such as silicon, silicon nitride (SiN), indium phosphide (InP), and aluminum oxide. The company is also venturing into Assembly Design Kits (ADKs) to consider packaging and assembly in the chip design process.

While AI technology is not yet mature enough for complex applications in photonics design, Luceda has conducted relevant experimentations and anticipates AI playing a significant role in the future due to rapid technological progress. Standardization and lack of reliable simulation models are identified as challenges in the photonics industry, along with diverse application requirements and the need for integrated electronic and photonic approaches.

The company's customer base is evenly distributed in Europe, Asia, and North America, with a strong focus on North American and Asian markets for product and service demand. Luceda's long-term goal is to enhance the reliability and completeness of chip behavior simulation, relying on real semiconductor-proven data in foundry device models as the photonics industry progresses.

In January 2022, Luceda released the Luceda Photonics Design Platform 3.11, emphasizing improvements in schematic-driven layout and design verification, showcasing the company's ongoing commitment to advancing silicon photonics design.