The design of optical systems involves the interdisciplinary efforts of a team, and hence a computer-aided design (CAD) system must be integrated, yet flexible enough to be able to be used by optical engineers, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, etc. The creation of a typical optical system involves the simultaneous design and optimization of new micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) processes, actuators, optical components, electronics, and packaging. The CAD system must encompass all of these design activities. Micro-optoelectro- mechanical systems (MOEMS) design is still the domain of experts, handcrafting the overall system using detailed knowledge. CAD tools can be used to promote information sharing between design teams working on different aspects of a complex MOEMS design. The domain experts must communicate and cooperate, and CAD can help them perform this task. In addition, MOEMS design involves innovations at the process and device level as well as in system-level architectures, implying that a top-down design flow is often not possible. Rather than the top-down approach, MEMS design is more like a spiral where the partitioning of requirements between ease of electronics design, optical performance, and mechanical constraints must often be iterated. The design flow for realizing optical MEMS systems is often unique to a given organization. The CAD tool suites must be able to support many different design flows.
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