Lumerical 2019b Release Delivers Dramatically Faster Time-to-results for Photonic Designers

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Lumerical’s 2019b release introduces a new unified product launcher, Verilog-A photonic compact model library generation in CML Compiler, and performance improvements across a range of applications.

Vancouver, BC (6 June 2019)

Lumerical Inc., a global, industry-leading provider of photonic design and simulation tools, announced the 2019b release of its:

  • DEVICE Suite for photonic multiphysics simulation including FDTD, MODE, CHARGE, HEAT, DGTD, FEEM, and STACK;
  • SYSTEM Suite for photonic integrated circuit simulation including INTERCONNECT, CML Compiler, Laser Library, and System Library; and
  • Interoperability Products including Automation API, partner integration licenses and foundry CMLs.

Lumerical continues to push the innovation envelope to deliver accurate, high-performance simulators in easy-to-use design environments specifically targeted at photonic designers. In this 2019b release, Lumerical delivers powerful capabilities that speed time-to-results for photonics designers. Notable features include a unified product launcher linked to the applications gallery, customer-driven user experience improvements through its SPARK program, performance improvements for a range of applications including photonic inverse design, and improvements for parameter extraction and Verilog-A photonic compact model library (CML) generation in its CML Compiler product.

The single, unified launcher for all products allows designers to browse the application gallery, download examples, and obtain trial licenses for all Lumerical’s offerings within seconds. With a broad range of photonics examples available, designers can go from design concept to physical simulation and optimization quickly and easily, even for complex devices and systems involving challenging multiphysics effects.

This release demonstrates Lumerical’s ongoing commitment to improving performance across all aspects of the design process. Improvements to FDTD meshing and the Automation API provide significant performance improvements across a wide range of applications. Calls to the Automation API have been improved by factors of 5-15X, depending on the specific use case. Combined with the improvements to FDTD meshing, significant speedups have been shown for real world inverse design examples, particularly when large number of parameters are used. The advancements in this release also lay the groundwork for topology optimization through Lumerical’s collaboration with the open-source lumopt project.

Lumerical’s CML Compiler is a tool for the automated generation and maintenance of photonic compact models for use within INTERCONNECT and Verilog-A simulators. In the 2019b release, examples within the application gallery have been extended to support parameter extraction for use by CML Compiler, enabling a seamless transition from component design through to compact model generation. Lumerical’s implementation of Verilog-A for modeling photonic components overcomes critical, well-known challenges by offering support for multi-mode, multi-channel, and bidirectional signal propagation in photonic integrated circuits. With the 2019b release, Lumerical further establishes itself as the industry leader in Verilog-A photonic compact models by delivering an improved CML Compiler that performs automated QA on the Verilog-A models it produces. The set of Verilog-A models supported continues to expand, with the addition of thermo-optic phase shifters in the 2019b release.

Lumerical’s SPARK program allows customers to submit ideas and vote for feature improvements in every development cycle. This release introduces 30 new capabilities to meet end-user requested improvements in performance, usability and accuracy.

“Lumerical is committed to helping our customers meet their aggressive design deadlines. With our latest release, designers can hit the road running with a new launcher that includes an extensive application gallery, instant access to all products, and in-product trial licensing,” said Lumerical CTO James Pond. “As always, this release includes a wide range of new features and improvements for all our customers to help them keep pace with a rapidly expanding technological landscape.”

2019b Release Highlights

  • a unified cross-product installer and launcher with a licence-aware application gallery and instant in-product trials for all Lumerical offerings
  • improved execution speed and memory performance for the Automation API
  • simplified installation and configuration of the Automation API by providing and enabling turnkey installation of Python modules bundled with Lumerical installation package
  • a range of scientific visualization improvements including the addition of contour plots, overlay of structure outlines, support for signed log plotting, export of figures to PNG, more intuitive display of matrix datasets, and directly defining parameter values when “slicing” datasets
  • an enhanced Lumerical script environment with user-defined functions, startup scripts, more descriptive syntax errors and the ability to drag-and-drop files to the script workspace
  • improvements to CML Compiler including easier installation, automated QA, and examples of parameter extraction for common photonic components in Lumerical’s application gallery
  • addition of multi-mode, multi-channel, and bidirectional capabilities to Lumerical’s Verilog-A models
  • a new Verilog-A model for thermo-optic phase shifters
  • improved Zemax interoperability allowing users to export ZBF files from the FDTD design environment user interface
  • improved performance of FDTD meshing, particularly for polygon structures with large vertex counts that are typical in curvy integrated photonics

Lumerical’s 2019b release is available for download immediately at

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