Lumerical Design Competition to Showcase Photonic Inverse Design on Amazon Web Services at Photonics West

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Competitors to Vie for Title of Champion Designer

Vancouver, BC (29 January 2020)

Lumerical Inc., a leading developer of photonic design and simulation tools, announces the Lumerical Photonic Inverse Design Competition to be contested at Photonic West Conference, February 4-6 at the Moscone Conference Center, San Francisco, California.

Throughout the exhibit, at Lumerical’s booth #5356 (North Hall), designer competitors will have an opportunity to apply their best parameters to a preselected design. All photonic designers are welcome to compete. To assure consistency and fairness, the design and target Figure of Merit will not be revealed prior to the competition. In real time, each competitor’s entry will be created utilizing the power of Lumerical’s photonic Inverse Design simulated with the industry leading FDTD nanophotonic simulator with the high-performance computing capability of Amazon Web Services (AWS). A leader board display in the Lumerical booth will track the standings throughout the exhibition, highlighting the top designs.

The Lumerical Design Competition Champion will be crowned on Thursday, February 6 at 2:00pm at the Lumerical Booth. The Champion designer will walk away with bragging rights, a leading design, an MPW ticket to have their design fabricated, and other valuable and fun prizes to celebrate the victory. All competitors will receive the component that they created for inclusion in their production design. A selection of leading designs will be chosen for fabrication, and one competitor chose at random will bring home an Oculus VR headset.

“The addition of inverse design methods to Lumerical’s products has been a game changer for our photonics design efforts – they have enabled better performance and much faster optimization of grating couplers and other complex photonic components, than with traditional sweeps and particle swarm optimizations,” said Michael Moebius, Senior Member of the Technical Staff at Draper.

Coupled with Lumerical’s industry proven FDTD solver, photonic inverse design enables designers to efficiently explore and optimize designs with hundreds or more design parameters. In contrast, traditional design approaches are limited to a small number of established device designs, exploring much smaller parameter spaces, typically fewer than ten parameters.

Lumerical CEO James Pond said, “The Lumerical Design Competition is set to be a major attraction at Photonics West. With photonic inverse design running on AWS, high quality designs are deliverable in a short time. The contestant with the best results will be crowned the champion, but all the contestants win by bringing home their own manufacturable results.”

The Python based open source PID implementation is packaged together with Lumerical FDTD for ease of deployment.

Alternatively, the original source code is freely available on GitHub. To help new users get started with PID, examples are included in Lumerical’s application gallery to speed designers’ time to implementation. More information on Lumerical’s Automation API, required to run PID, can be found at

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