Lumerical 2014a release includes an eigenmode expansion propagation solver and heterojunction support, improving optics and silicon photonics design

Back to News Releases

Lumerical’s 2014a release includes a new eigenmode expansion propagation simulator and heterojunction modeling capabilities to better support integrated optics and silicon photonics design

Vancouver, BC (May 21, 2014)

Lumerical Solutions, Inc., a global provider of photonic design software, today announced its 2014a release, delivering key advancements to Lumerical’s suite of photonic design and analysis software. Release 2014a includes FDTD Solutions 8.9, MODE Solutions 7.1, INTERCONNECT 4.1 and DEVICE 4.1. Highlighting the release is a proprietary extension of the standard eigenmode expansion (EME) optical propagation method, for which Lumerical has filed a provisional patent. The new EME solver is included with MODE Solutions 7.1. The EME solver enables highly accurate analysis of large photonic devices at simulation speeds orders of magnitude faster than those achievable with alternative simulation techniques. The release also includes improved active device modeling with the addition of heterojunction modeling to DEVICE, improved tools for complex layered component design and further progress towards integrating Lumerical’s photonic integrated circuit (PIC) simulator, INTERCONNECT, with traditional EDA tools and workflows.

“The 2014a release represents the latest innovations in Lumerical’s decade long mission to develop the leading framework for designing and analyzing complex photonic components and systems,” according to Dr. James Pond, CTO of Lumerical. “Photonic integration has the potential to revolutionize a variety of industries from communications to computing and biosensing. To fully realize that potential, accurate modeling of manufacturable designs is essential. This release introduces key capabilities and unique innovations that are crucial to our goal of delivering the most complete design and analysis environment for photonics R&D professionals.”

Fast and Accurate Modeling of Large Scale Photonic Components using EME

“Lumerical’s EME solver has made the design and optimization of long taper structures much simpler and faster,” according to Huapu Pan, Staff Engineer, Huawei Technologies (USA). “Lumerical’s optical solvers provide a comprehensive set of tools for the design and analysis of integrated photonic components.”

The bidirectional EME solver, introduced in this release of MODE Solutions, is a fully vectorial and rigorous technique for efficiently solving Maxwell’s equations that is ideal for simulating long, waveguide components.

“As a next-gen company we require next-gen techniques for rapidly and reliably prototyping a variety of advanced photonic designs,” stated Nikhil Kumar, R&D Engineer III at Skorpios Technologies, Inc. “The EME solver in MODE Solutions surpasses many limitations imposed by the beam propagation method and allows us to quickly and confidently study a number of unique solutions.”

The computational cost of the EME method scales exceptionally well with device length, making it an ideal method for the design and optimization of long integrated optical devices, including continuously varying structures like tapers and long, periodic components like waveguide and fiber Bragg gratings.

“We searched a long time to find a simulator capable of dealing with the design challenges presented by waveguide Bragg gratings,” according to University of British Columbia Professor Lukas Chrostowski. “Given the initial results we’ve seen with Lumerical’s EME, I have great confidence that search is over. Combined with their work towards tighter integration of photonic simulation with EDA tool flows, including lithography prediction, Lumerical’s 2014a release will allow us get much better agreement with experimental measurements of our grating structures.”

Enabling an EDA Workflow for Photonic Integrated Circuit Design

INTERCONNECT 4.1 includes features to enable PIC designers to meet the reliability and scale required for process design kit (PDK) based workflows, supporting a move towards reliable manufacturing and commercial deployment of PICs. Features include:

  • Multithreaded dynamic data flow engine for faster time domain simulations of large scale PICs
  • Expanded element library including components for the design of large scale optical switches and complex modulator circuit architectures, including support for advanced modulation formats such as QPSK and M-ary QAM
  • Support for PDK based workflows with PIC simulations launched directly from traditional schematic EDA environments

Heterojunction Support Enables Broader Class of Photosensitive Devices to be Modeled

DEVICE 4.1 introduces support for abrupt heterojunctions, enabling the design and analysis of a broader set of target applications including high speed SiGe photodetectors and AlGaAs/GaAs thin-film solar cells. Additional features include:

  • Band structure and current flux monitors
  • New tools for quantum efficiency analysis and optimization
  • Enhanced semiconductor models for high field and breakdown effects, including: high field mobility, trap-assisted tunneling, band-to-band tunneling, and impact ionization

“DEVICE 4.1, with support for abrupt heterojunctions, represents an important milestone in the development of our electrical simulation capabilities to better address applications employing broad classes of semiconductor materials such as photovoltaics, integrated photonics, and high speed photodiodes,” stated Dylan McGuire, Lead Engineer at Lumerical. “This is the first step towards complete, integrated support for heterostructure devices. The next step, which will include an advanced material database and graded heterojunction support, is scheduled for autumn 2014.”

Advanced Layer Builder for Component Definition

A layer builder is integrated into the graphical user interface of Lumerical’s component level design products FDTD Solutions 8.9, MODE Solutions 4.1 and DEVICE 4.1. This tool allows end users to quickly define complicated multilayer structures consisting of patterned GDSII layers combined with unpatterned layers. Designers can then easily make changes to the ordering, thickness and relative positioning of each layer.

Release 2014a is now shipping, with evaluation versions available online at More information regarding Lumerical’s new EME solver can be found at

Get started now with a free 30-day trial.

Evaluate for Free