Canada’s National Design Network (CNDN)

Queen's University, Montréal, Québec
What the facility does

National facility for undertaking leading-edge R&D in micro-nanotechnologies, foundational to all industrial sectors and essential to Canada’s competitiveness.

Areas of expertise

Canada’s National Design Network, managed by CMC Microsystems, supports leading-edge R&D in micro-nano technologies by lowering the barriers to technology adoption. It delivers services to a network of over 10,000 researchers and entrepreneurs in universities, colleges, and companies for designing and making micro-nanotechnology prototypes. The advanced devices and materials that are created are made-in-Canada disruptive developments in the areas of, for example, AI, 5G, optical communications, biomedical sensors, automotive, digital manufacturing, energy management, cybersecurity, and heterogeneous and quantum computing.

Research services

Access to computer-aided design (CAD), fabrication (FAB), and laboratory (LAB) products and services for the design, simulation, prototyping and/or testing of micro-nanotechnologies. This includes microelectronics, photonics, embedded systems and software, materials, and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS research). 

Offerings include:

  • 50 computer-aided design (CAD) tool suites
  • 600 development systems
  • 40 university-based fabrication laboratories
  • 25 multi-project wafer services available through nine foundries worldwide
  • 450 design flows, user guides, and application notes
  • 80 pieces of test equipment
  • Training courses, webinars, workshops, and events

This infrastructure is available at institutions across Canada.

Sectors of application
  • Aerospace and satellites
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Automotive
  • Clean technology
  • Defence and security industries
  • Energy (renewable and fossil)
  • Environmental technologies and related services
  • Financial services and insurance
  • Forestry and forest-based industries
  • Healthcare and social services
  • Information and communication technologies and media
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
  • Manufacturing and processing
  • Mining, minerals and metals
  • Ocean industries
  • Transportation
  • Utilities
Specialized facility Equipment Function

CAD Services


Microelectronics CAD: Cadence, Coventor, Keysight, Mentor, softMEMS, Synopsys, SolidoDesign, simulation, verification, layout, and analysis of ASIC and PCB designs in microelectronics, MEMS and photonics
CAD ServicesPhotonics CAD: ARM, Design Workshop, Luceda, Lumerical, Siemens Mentor, Optiwave, Photon Design, RSoftIntegrated environments for the design, for the design, capture, layout, and verification of optic components
CAD ServicesFPGA/Embedded Systems CAD: Altium, ARM, IAR Systems, IntelFPGA, NI Labview, Mentor, Synopsys, VectorBlox, XilinxIntegrated development environments for FPGA platforms plus design and verification tools and processor technology. 
CAD ServicesMultiphysics CAD Tools: ANSYS, COMSOL, FEI, SolidWorksModelling, including 3D visualization, simulation and analysis.
CAD ServicesQuantum CAD: Ansys, Cadence, Comsol, Keysight, Siemens Mentor, SolidWorks, SynopsysDesign, simulation, verification, layout, and analysis of designs in superconducting, semiconductor and photonics quantum devices

FAB Services



CMOS Prototyping (including process design kits - PDKs): GLOBALFOUNDRIES® - 12nm FinFET, 22nm FDSOI, 45nm RFSOI, 90nm BiCMOS SiGe 9hP, 130nm BiCMOS SiGe 8XP; ST 28nm, TSMC 28nm, 65nm GP, 65nm LP, 130nm, 180nm, 350nm; AMS 350nm (Basic, HV, Opto)Cost-shared access to multi-project wafer fabrication services targeting commercial sources
FAB ServicesMEMS Prototyping (including PDKs): TDSI MIDIS, MEMSCAP PolyMUMPS (including post-processing) and PiezoMUMPSCost-shared access to multi-project wafer fabrication services
FAB ServicesIII-V epitaxy on InP, GaAs or GE substrates: III-V Labs, Azastra, CPFC, FBH, Fraunhofer, LandmarkCustom epitaxy services sourcing worldwide supply
FAB ServicesPhotonics Prototyping (including PDKs): AMF Silicon Photonics, III-V epitaxy on InP/GaAs/GE substrates (various sources); GF 45SPCLO )Cost-shared access to multi-project wafer fabrication services
FAB ServicesPackaging and AssemblyStandard component wire bond; single or multi-die assembly; custom packaging and assembly services; engineering support
LAB ServicesEquipment Loan – Test: Centellax, Keysight, Keithley, NoisTech, Rohde  & Schwartz, Stanford Research, Tektronics3-month loan of analyzers, amplifiers, BERTs, meters, scopes, generators, probe station, pumps, imaging equipment, etc.
LAB ServicesEquipment Loan - Development Boards and PXI Cards: Xilinx; NI; Keysight; Atlas 200 DK (model 3000) Xilinx ML605 and ZCU102 boards; NI and Keysight PXI cards (chassis, scopes, SMUs, analyzers, generators, controllers); Atlas DK AI Developer Kit
LAB ServicesFabrication, Assembly, Characterization and Test (FACT)Custom fabrication and characterization services from Canadian university labs
LAB ServicesNanofabrication Process Design Environment: CMC, camLineCloud-based design environment for nanotechnology researchers including XperiDesk-driven process repository
LAB ServicesMicrofabrication: MNT Financial AssistanceFinancial assistance to lower the cost barriers of hands-on, custom microfabrication in university labs in Canada.
LAB ServicesFPGA and SOC Evaluation and Development Kits (Xilinx and Intel/Terasic)FPGAs, memory and industry-standard peripherals suitable for a wide range of applications
LAB ServicesSoftware Platform: Heterogeneous Computing Middleware Platform (HCMP)Middle-ware for developing industrial-strength heterogeneous computing software
LAB ServicesFPGA-based Development SystemsAcceleration, high-performance/heterogeneous/agile computing and/or processing, software-defined radio, Virtex 5 & 6
LAB ServicesPXI-based Microsystems Integration PlatformMulti-technology validation of a micro-device in a system context
LAB ServicesGPU-based Multiprocessor Array PlatformAccelerated processing of algorithms and simulations
LAB ServicesSoftware Platform: Heterogeneous Computing Middleware Platform (HCMP)Middle-ware for developing industrial-strength heterogeneous computing software
LAB ServicesPXI-based Microsystems Integration PlatformMulti-technology validation of a micro-device in a system context
LAB ServicesCloud-based Clusters: Atlas 800 Cluster (model 9000), FPGA/GPU ClusterAccelerate compute intensive applications, especially AI training and inference. Stack and complete ecosystem of machine learning frameworks.
LAB ServicesIBM Quantum Computers (65-, 27-, 16- and 7-qubit systems)Specialized access to IBM Quantum Hub at Institut quantique - training, quantum coding service.
  • Acadia University
  • Algoma University
  • Cape Breton University
  • Carleton University
  • Concordia University
  • Dalhousie University
  • École de Technologie Supérieure
  • Institut national de la recherche scientifique (INRS)
  • Lakehead University
  • Laurentian University
  • McGill University
  • McMaster University
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Polytechnique Montréal
  • Queen's University
  • Royal Military College of Canada
  • Ryerson University
  • Saint Mary's University
  • Simon Fraser University
  • Trent University
  • Université de Montréal
  • Université de Moncton
  • University of Ottawa
  • Université de Sherbrooke
  • Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT)
  • Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC)
  • Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
  • Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO)
  • Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR)
  • Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR)
  • Université Laval
  • University of Alberta
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Guelph
  • University of Lethbridge
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of New Brunswick
  • University of Northern British Columbia
  • University of Regina
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Victoria
  • University of Waterloo
  • University of Windsor
  • Western University
  • Wilfrid Laurier University
  • York University
  • Algonquin College
  • Assiniboine Community College
  • Cégep de l'Outaouais
  • Cégep Trois-Rivières
  • Centennial College
  • Collège Lionel-Groulx
  • Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
  • Georgian College
  • Humber College
  • Mohawk College of Applied Arts and Technology
  • Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)
  • St. Lawrence College
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