Welcome to Nazca Design!ΒΆ

Nazca Design is an open source photonic integrated circuit (PIC) design framework for professional mask layout and more.

Nazca is created to solve bottle necks that PIC designers have encountered for over two decades. Nazca builds on design experience starting in the 90s, using modern software solutions. Nazca redefines PIC design from the ground up and introduced within one year of its conception a complete tool with a large number of features and innovations that assist you to create correct mask designs with ease and pleasure. Ultimately, as PIC designer you are responsible for the layouts that you create, hence quality is essential. You probably want to be a creative and efficient designer too. Therefore, Nazca focuses on

  • Flexibility – Python based, open source
  • Efficiency – Clear design concepts and faster than you might expect
  • Quality – Mature PDKs and strong visualization.

Nazca design is made for designers, by designers. It solves design problems in a no-nonsense manner.


PIC mask layout created in Nazca

Mask design of a photonic integrated circuit created in Nazca

In order to design layouts for specific technologies, a designer can greatly benefit from process design kits (PDK). These kits describe the building blocks made available by a foundry in its technology. Nazca is designed with PDKs in mind, and once again, with a focus on practical designer needs and work flow:

  • Easy of implementation
  • Extensive validation
  • Functional visualization

Nazca is highly suitable for the PIC design professional, but also provides a smooth path to get started in PIC design at work, in school or at home. The Nazca philosophy is that photonics layout is simple, and in order to keep it simple, also for complex designs, all basic Nazca functions and concepts have been designed and redesigned to be as simple as possible without losing functionality. It turns out that by defining clear functional scripting syntax with descriptive names, both the beginner and professional designer benefit, as you may expect.

Nazca has chosen a mature and well supported scripting language: Python, with readable syntax and excellent debugging, testing and editor options. With Nacza you get to work with one of the most popular languages, in a fast developing landscape. You may already know Python, as it has been around for 20+ years, or you may find in Nazca a good reason to try it. Either way, scripting in Python is a transferable skill, that can be reused in other fields and projects.

Nazca is open source, and because of that you can create your layout designs anywhere you want with anyone, now and in the future. Nazca runs on Windows, Linux and Mac, avoiding a lock-in. You can install and run it in your local folder, without the need for admin privileges. Just get started and have fun with this tool.