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Rockley Photonics Collaborates with Cadence to Create a High-Performance System for Hyperscale Data Centers

Comprehensive set of Cadence system analysis and custom tools enable Rockley Photonics to achieve first-pass success

Cadence Design Systems, Inc. announced that Rockley Photonics, a leading supplier of integrated photonic solutions, has deployed a comprehensive set of Cadence system analysis and custom tools to design a state-of-the-art, high-performance System-in-Package (SiP) for hyperscale data centers. Using a broad suite of Cadence tools, Rockley Photonics achieved first-pass success, accelerating time to market.

Rockley Photonics deployed a comprehensive set of Cadence system analysis and custom tools to design a state-of-the-art, high-performance System-in-Package (SiP) for hyperscale data centers.

The Rockley Photonics device is a complex system-in-package solution, comprised of discrete chiplets connected through a high-speed 112G PAM4 serial interface. To successfully complete the project, the Rockley Photonics design team needed a powerful, comprehensive combination of Cadence system analysis and custom tools, featuring the Clarity 3D Solver, Allegro technologies and the EMX 3D Planar Solver; custom technologies including the Virtuoso RF Solution and Spectre X Simulator; and the Quantus Extraction System for signoff. The Cadence design tools—across chip, package, board and system—offer a tight integration that doesn’t exist with other solutions on the market, providing Rockley with a complete solution for system innovation.

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The Rockley engineering team utilized the Clarity 3D Solver to analyze system-level electromagnetics effects, a task they couldn’t achieve with other tools. Using the Clarity 3D Solver from within the Virtuoso RF Solution, Rockley Photonics’ engineers successfully modeled coupling between the chiplets, the board, and the high-speed transmission lines—including wirebonds—all the way to the photonics chiplet, ensuring complete system performance. In addition, the Cadence EMX 3D Planar Solver provided a truly differentiated electromagnetic flow that enabled Rockley Photonics to demonstrate a 12X performance improvement over legacy design flows.

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“At Rockley Photonics, we routinely evaluate our system design methodology so we can find ways to improve and enable our engineering team to perform at their peaks,” said David Nelson, vice president, IC design at Rockley Photonics. “By using the integrated Cadence flow, we were able to capture a deterioration in the 50-60GHz frequency range through its cross-fabric coupling capabilities, whereas our previous flow, which utilized a single-fabric approach, was not able to capture the deterioration. In addition, the Clarity 3D Solver demonstrated impressive scaling up to 128 CPUs, and the entire 100GHz cross-fabric design was extracted in just three hours.”

The Cadence system analysis and custom tools support the company’s broader Intelligent System Design strategy, providing customers with an efficient path to achieve system innovation.

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