CMOS Design for Optoelectronics Applications

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3 Credits


Course Structure/Operation

This is a one semester course involving lectures, projects and exams. In the previous years, this used to be only a project-based course (since September 2013).

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course, it is expected that students will be able to:

  • Understand the basics of silicon photonics and optoelectronics
  • Analyze and design CMOS circuits in particular for photonics applications
  • Design a silicon-photonic CMOS circuit, including necessary test structures
  • Learn Cadence and Lumerical tools

Detailed Course Outline

3-hour lectures per week

Overview: Silicon photonics enables the fabrication of CMOS circuits for optical communications, sensors, and biomedical devices. Example components include modulator and laser drivers, trans-impedance amplifiers, automatic gain control and temperature control circuits.


  • Common circuit blocks: opamps, references, stability, etc.
  • Compact models for optical devices: phase shifter (pin, thermal, etc.), ring modulator, detector
  • Optical Link budget analysis
  • Receivers: Basic concepts, limiting receiver, linear receiver, Trans-impedance Amplifier (TIA) Design; Limiting Amplifiers; Input offset cancellation; AGC techniques
  • Transmitters - Modulator drivers, termination, bias control
  • Laser drivers
  • Tuning circuits
  • Packaging considerations - wirebond/bump and package parasitics
  • Fabrication technology description, design rules, process details.
  • Experimental methodology.
  • Clock and data recovery
  • Computer-aided design (CAD) tools will be used for the modelling and design of the CMOS circuits. These CAD tools include circuit simulation and layout (Cadence) and photonics design (Lumerical)


Basic core undergraduate courses in electronics, i.e. familarity with CMOS and circuit analysis, and computer-aided design tools for circuit design such as Candence.

Texts and Bibliography
There is no single textbook that covers the course topics in detail. The course will be taught using the instructor’s lecture notes, along with reference books and IEEE Journals (JSSC, TCAS) and Conferences (ISSCC, VLSI Symposium, CICC).
Reference Textbooks:
Design of Integrated Circuits for Optical Communications, B. Razavi, Wiley, 2012 (2nd Ed).
Broadband Circuits for Optical Fiber Communication, E. Sackinger, Wiley-Interscience, 2005.
Silicon Photonics Design: From Devices to System, L. Chrostowski and M. Hochberg, Cambridge University Press, 2015.


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