MPW Runs

AIM Photonics Fab

The Multi-Project-Wafer run (MPW) is a breakthrough paradigm that enables academics, Small to Medium scale Enterprise companies (SMEs), and industry to create photonic integrated circuit (PIC) applications without excessive overheard production costs. By effectively renting out production time in a world-class cleanroom facility, AIM Photonics dilutes the cost of creating integrated photonic circuits by jointly processing chips from multiple customers—multiple projects—in the same fabrication cycle. 

With the MPW approach, SME companies in particular can experiment with small-batch production runs, sharing the high costs of photolithography mask sets and high purity etching, annealing, oxidation, and deposition tools, with other companies and universities registered for the same run.

Process Design Kits (PDKs) establish the standards and design constraints for device components and circuit architecture, ensuring each MPW run meets an acceptable manufacturing precision tolerance. In turn, the test characterization of manufactured chips informs the statistical variation parameters of a PDK, to ensure a tighter correlation between theoretical design and fabricated circuit.

The faculty and staff affiliated with the AIM Photonics Design Center will help you debug and refine your PDK design to create high-performance PICs. 


The PDK includes a Silicon Photonics library of interfaces, passive, and active components, schematics and models for the development of optical modules and system.  


The key features of the PDK are:

  • 50Gbps modulation with less than one volt peak to peak drive. Low voltage drive at high bandwidth is key to enable low power applications and work with CMOS/BiCMOS drivers.
  • Digital detectors with greater than 45GHz bandwidth and high responsivity, ideal for C-band receivers.
  • Both polarization support for standard and low-cost single mode fibers, eliminating the need for expensive polarization maintaining fibers.
  • Lower loss crossings and propagation with seamless dielectric transitions and <1% mismatch between the outputs of a 3dB splitter, leading to a high common mode rejection ratio (CMRR).
  • Continued multi-vendor Electronics-Photonics-Design-Automation (EPDA) support with integrated EPDA PDK flow for schematic driven layout and system-level simulation.

For a consultation on your production plans for an application-specific PIC with AIM Academy or Spark Photonics please contact us.