Canada’s National Design Network (CNDN)

Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario
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 



CAD Services


Microelectronics CAD: Cadence, Coventor, Keysight, Mentor, softMEMS, Synopsys, Solido

Design, simulation, verification, layout, and analysis of ASIC and PCB designs in microelectronics, MEMS and photonics

CAD Services

Photonics CAD: ARM, Design Workshop, Luceda, Lumerical, Siemens Mentor, Optiwave, Photon Design, RSoft

Integrated environments for the design, for the design, capture, layout, and verification of optic components

CAD Services

FPGA/Embedded Systems CAD: Altium, ARM, IAR Systems, IntelFPGA, NI Labview, Mentor, Synopsys, VectorBlox, Xilinx

Integrated development environments for FPGA platforms plus design and verification tools and processor technology. 

CAD Services

Multiphysics CAD Tools: ANSYS, COMSOL, FEI, SolidWorks

Modelling, including 3D visualization, simulation and analysis.

CAD Services Quantum CAD: Ansys, Cadence, Comsol, Keysight, Siemens Mentor, SolidWorks, Synopsys Design, 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 Services

MEMS Prototyping (including PDKs): TDSI MIDIS, MEMSCAP PolyMUMPS (including post-processing) and PiezoMUMPS

Cost-shared access to multi-project wafer fabrication services

FAB Services

III-V epitaxy on InP, GaAs or GE substrates: III-V Labs, Azastra, CPFC, FBH, Fraunhofer, Landmark

Custom epitaxy services sourcing worldwide supply

FAB Services

Photonics 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 Services

Packaging and Assembly

Standard component wire bond; single or multi-die assembly; custom packaging and assembly services; engineering support

LAB Services

Equipment Loan – Test: Centellax, Keysight, Keithley, NoisTech, Rohde  & Schwartz, Stanford Research, Tektronics

3-month loan of analyzers, amplifiers, BERTs, meters, scopes, generators, probe station, pumps, imaging equipment, etc.

LAB Services

Equipment 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 Services

Fabrication, Assembly, Characterization and Test (FACT)

Custom fabrication and characterization services from Canadian university labs

LAB Services

Nanofabrication Process Design Environment: CMC, camLine

Cloud-based design environment for nanotechnology researchers including XperiDesk-driven process repository

LAB Services

Microfabrication: MNT Financial Assistance

Financial assistance to lower the cost barriers of hands-on, custom microfabrication in university labs in Canada.

LAB Services

FPGA and SOC Evaluation and Development Kits (Xilinx and Intel/Terasic)

FPGAs, memory and industry-standard peripherals suitable for a wide range of applications

LAB Services Software Platform: Heterogeneous Computing Middleware Platform (HCMP) Middle-ware for developing industrial-strength heterogeneous computing software

LAB Services

FPGA-based Development Systems

Acceleration, high-performance/heterogeneous/agile computing and/or processing, software-defined radio, Virtex 5 & 6

LAB Services

PXI-based Microsystems Integration Platform

Multi-technology validation of a micro-device in a system context

LAB Services

GPU-based Multiprocessor Array Platform

Accelerated processing of algorithms and simulations

LAB Services

Software Platform: Heterogeneous Computing Middleware Platform (HCMP) Middle-ware for developing industrial-strength heterogeneous computing software
LAB Services PXI-based Microsystems Integration Platform Multi-technology validation of a micro-device in a system context
LAB Services Cloud-based Clusters: Atlas 800 Cluster (model 9000), FPGA/GPU Cluster Accelerate compute intensive applications, especially AI training and inference. Stack and complete ecosystem of machine learning frameworks.
LAB Services IBM 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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