Synopsys and Juniper Networks Form New Company to Deliver Silicon Photonics Platform

Synopsys and Juniper Networks announced that they have entered into a transaction to form a new, separate company that will provide the industry with an open silicon photonics platform to meet growing photonics needs in applications including telecommunications, data communications, LiDAR, healthcare, HPC, AI, and optical computing.

The new company’s open silicon photonics platform will include integrated lasers, optical amplifiers and a full suite of photonics components to form a complete solution that will be accessible through a process design kit (PDK). The platform will enable a new level of integration at an unmatched price, with the lowest power consumption for high-performance photonic integrated circuits (PICs). The name of the new company will be announced later.

Terms of the agreement are not disclosed at this time. The new company will be jointly owned by Synopsys and Juniper, with Synopsys as majority owner. The results of the new company will be consolidated in Synopsys’ financial statements. While Synopsys expects the investment to be slightly dilutive to fiscal 2022 earnings, the investment is not material and will not affect Synopsys’ guidance ranges for the second fiscal quarter and full year 2022 provided on February 16, 2022. There is no change in Juniper’s full year financial results outlook as a result of this transaction.

The new company is formed, in part, from the separation of Juniper’s silicon-integrated photonics assets, which includes more than 200 patents on photonics device design and process integration. While part of Juniper, the new company worked closely with Tower Semiconductor to develop and qualify Tower Semiconductor’s PH18DA process technology to enable the industry’s first “laser-on-chip” open silicon photonics platform. To demonstrate the capabilities of this platform and accelerate customer adoption of the technology, the new company has created 400G and 800G photonics reference designs with integrated lasers and expects the first samples to be available. in the summer of 2022.

“Silicon photonics is a rapidly growing market that is transforming many industries and creating exciting opportunities for new applications in the future,” said Sassine Ghazi, President and COO of Synopsys. “The new company’s open silicon photonics platform, combined with Synopsys’ existing investment in a unified electronic photonics design automation solution comprised of OptoCompiler, OptSim, PrimeSim, Photonic Device Compiler and IC Validator, will help reshape the optical computing industry, enabling companies to cost-effectively transition to integrated lasers and dramatically accelerate the development of photonic integrated circuit designs.

“This breakthrough technology will change the economics of how people build photonic systems,” said Rami Rahim, CEO of Juniper Networks. “We have been strong supporters of silicon-integrated photonics and believe the new company will drive the development of these systems using an advanced open platform that will significantly reduce costs and increase the performance and reliability of designs in many areas. multiple use cases. We are excited to continue collaborating with the new company to enable a broad ecosystem to efficiently develop next-generation optical transceivers and co-packaged designs.

A major challenge for silicon photonics has been the cost of adding discrete lasers, which includes manufacturing as well as assembling and aligning these lasers on the photonics chip. This becomes more important as the number of laser channels and overall bandwidth increases. By processing indium phosphide (InP) materials directly on the silicon photonic wafer, the PH18DA platform reduces the cost and time of adding lasers, enabling volume scalability and improved power efficiency.

Additionally, lasers monolithically integrated on silicon wafers improve overall reliability and simplify packaging. This open laser-on-a-chip silicon photonics platform will bring integrated photonics to a host of new applications and new markets that were not previously thought to be possible. The first multi-project brochure (MPW) should be registered in the second quarter of 2022.

“We have a long history of successful collaboration with Juniper Networks on integrated photonics. The new company formed by Synopsys and Juniper will strengthen and accelerate the adoption of the silicon photonics platform,” said Russell Ellwanger, CEO of Tower Semiconductor. “Delivering an open silicon photonics platform comprised of integrated lasers that has been qualified on the Tower process will enable customers to create innovative products with the potential to transform the industry.”

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