Silicon-based photonics is mobilizing into a manufacturing industry with specialized integrated circuit design requirements for applications in low power cloud computing, high speed wireless, smart sensing, and augmented imaging. The AIM Photonics Manufacturing USA Institute, which operates the world’s most advanced 300mm semiconductor research fab, has co-developed a Process Design Kit (PDK) in fabless circuit design for these expanding digital and analog applications; however, there currently isn’t available an in-depth curriculum to train engineers (academia, industry) in the AIM PDK process and Electronic Photonic Design Automation (EPDA) software. AIM Photonics Academy, an education initiative of AIM Photonics based at MIT, has collaborated with faculty to create three online MOOC edX courses that (1) introduce integrated photonics devices, and applications performance needs and metrics; and (2) train into the AIM PDK and specialized EPDA tools in a six week design project to lay out an application-specific photonic transceiver. The courses are structured around asynchronous video lectures and exploratory design problems that involve Python and Matlab-based first-principles calculations (systems modeling) or advanced EPDA tools (circuit design and layout). The online MOOC courses can optionally form a tandem blended learning component with two AIM Photonics Academy on-site training programs: the annual AIM Summer Academy one-week intensive program (held every July at MIT), or a photonic integrated circuit testing workshop (the first workshop is planned for fall 2019). These courses are a cornerstone effort at AIM to found and support a specialized cohort community of future integrated photonics designers.

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Copyright 2019 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.

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Conference Proceeding

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School of Physics and Astronomy (COS)


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