Integrated photonics and application-specific design on a massive open online course platform

Sajan Saini, Stefan Preble, Miloš Popović, Jaime Cardenas, Alan Kost, Erik Verlage, Gregory Howland, Lionel C. Kimerling

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEducation and Training in Optics and Photonics, ETOP 2019
PublisherOptica Publishing Group (formerly OSA)
ISBN (Print)9781510629790
StatePublished - 2019
EventEducation and Training in Optics and Photonics, ETOP 2019 - Quebec, Canada
Duration: May 21 2019 → …

Publication series

NameOptics InfoBase Conference Papers
VolumePart F130-ETOP 2019
ISSN (Electronic)2162-2701


ConferenceEducation and Training in Optics and Photonics, ETOP 2019
Period5/21/19 → …


  • AIM Photonics Academy
  • AIM Photonics Institute
  • Blended learning
  • EdX course
  • Electronic Photonic Design Automation
  • Integrated photonics
  • MOOCs
  • Process Design Kit
  • Remote learning
  • Silicon photonics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Mechanics of Materials


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