Photonics design automation firm Phoenix Software and Sandia National Laboratories are collaborating to develop a photonics process design kit (PDK) for Sandia’s silicon photonics manufacturing process. The collaboration directly addresses key challenges set in July 2015 by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Manufacturing Technology Program, which established the American Institute for Manufacturing (AIM) Photonics to develop “an end-to-end integrated photonics [ecosystem] in the U.S.” The combination of PhoeniX Software suite of photonic design tools and Sandia’s foundry services is meant to enable photonic designers to innovate in the field of integrated photonics, the companies said. Silicon photonics holds the potential to become a cost-effective, scalable technology for the production of photonic integrated circuits to address applications including high-performance optical networking, data center interconnects, signal processing, and biological and chemical sensing. Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corp., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Its main facilities are in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif.