openEPDA data format

About openEPDA data format


With the development of fab-less approach to integrated photonics, there is an increasing demand on infrastructure for handling measurement, analysis and simulation data. In order to facilitate data exchange between parties we fill the gap in the data file formats and describe an open standard for file format, which is human readable and at the same time allows convenient storage and manipulation of heterogeneous measurement data.


In integrated electronics and photonics various data in different formats is generated on multiple stages of the fabrication chain: design, simulations, fabrication, testing, and device characterization. For example, testing is performed on different stages of the fabrication: from on-wafer testing during and after the fabrication to module-level testing of the packaged devices. The data generated during these measurements is heterogeneous, and is used for different purposes: pass-fail procedure, process control, device models development and calibration. This involves various parties, such as foundry, measurement labs, designers, and software companies which use different tools to generate and process the test data.

Data types

The generated data comes from different sources and is heterogeneous. The main data is obtained from the measurement equipment directly when the observation is performed. This data is usually numeric (scalar or arrays). The identifiers of the wafer, die and circuit under test represent metadata for the given observation. Metadata also may include the equipment used, the equipment settings, date of calibration, ambient conditions, etc. The metadata can be of various simple (numeric, textual) and structured types (arrays, maps). The overview of the data types is presented in the table below.

Data type





Any numeric value

1 2.3 .inf 1.9e-3

Representation is same as in section of [1]


A list of characters

‘spectrum analyzer’ ‘SPM18-3’


A sorted list of numeric or string values

[1, 2, 3, 4] [‘voltage’, ‘current’, ‘power’]

Values may have mixed types, which is discouraged


Mapping of a set of values to another set of values in the key: value form

{‘wafer’: ‘SPM18-3’, ‘die’: ‘38X23’, ‘design’: ‘SP00-38’}

Also called a named array, a look-up table, or a dictionary

To facilitate exchange of the data between these parties, we have developed a standard file data format, which can store the measurement data and metadata in a human-readable way. The format is sufficiently flexible to include any arbitrary structured data, including arrays and maps. The generated files are straightforward to be imported by any software or analysis tool, for example MatLab, python, and Excel.


openEPDA data formats are available under CC BY-SA 4.0 license.

This is Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0). See full license text here: CC BY-SA 4.0.

More details on openEPDA view on standards licensing are available on Licensing policy page.


The data format defines how to write the information into a file. Besides this, YAML section contains reserved keys which start with the underscore symbol. The list of reserved keys is given for a particular format version.