2019a Release Notes

2019a-R1 Release Notes

New Features

Shared Features

Application Gallery

The Application Gallery is available from within Lumerical tools and includes proven design and optimization examples for applications such as grating couplers, ring modulators, photonic resonators, CMOS image sensors, and many more. Photonic component designers can now take advantage of validated examples, delivered in-product, providing a significant head start in their design work. Designers uniquely benefit from in-product discovery and download of examples that are created, improved and enhanced on a continuous basis. Check out the Application Gallery here: Applications Gallery.

Upgraded New-Project Options

All products feature an upgraded new-project dialog, showcasing the Application Gallery examples with full-text search, and quick links to open recent projects or examples. Use your Lumerical.com login to quickly download and open the examples in-product. Find out more on this KB page: New Project Window.

Optical Material Import from refractiveindex.info (Optical Solvers)

Sampled data optical material properties can now be directly imported from files in the YAML (.yml) format, which is the format used in the refractiveindex.info database. The import utility will automatically select the appropriate units and display reference information when it is available. For more information, please visit the Knowledge Base: Creating Sampled Data Materials (under the “Adding a new material from a .yml data file” section).

Improvements to GDSII Export Commands

When exporting shapes to a GDSII file, the layer specification can now be augmented with datatype information Check out the script commands for GDS export (and import) on this KB page: GDSII.

Integration with External Script File Editors

The script editor in all products now watches your file for changes on disk, with warnings and single click to reload. This will help users that prefer their own editor, or who are working with a script in multiple windows. Check out this new feature by downloading the latest versions of your Lumerical products from here: Product Downloads.

Intel MPI

For photonic component designers utilizing HPC resources to accelerate simulations, Lumerical’s physical component solvers can now target execution through Intel’s MPI commands. This feature is available in Lumerical FDTD Solutions, MODE solutions and DEVICE, and enables distributed computing on advanced processors with high numbers of cores. The Intel MPI can be set up in the Resource Configuration of all component solvers.

Improved Python API

New capabilities have been added to the python API. (Learn about Lumerical Python API here: Python API)

  • Constructors – When adding an object, the object’s properties can now be set through constructor parameters.
  • Constructors – When adding an object, the add___ command now returns a sim object that be used to manipulate that object.
  • Dict access – Sim object properties can now be accessed using dict-style notation.
  • Deep access – Nested sim object properties can now be accessed using dot or dict-style notation.
  • Hierarchical access – Parents and children of sim objects can now be accessed using a sim object method.

Improved Performance for Locating Resonances in High-Q Cavities

The new script command findresonances allows users to extrapolate limited time-domain signals to determine resonance frequencies and Q-factor. This feature can substantially reduce simulation time when studying structures with resonant modes, including ring resonators, photonic crystal cavities, Bragg microcavities, and others. The following examples demonstrate the use of this new command: whispering gallery modes in a GaN rod and plasmonic resonator.

FDTD Solutions - Version S2019A-R1 (8.21.1781)

Enhancements for S-Parameter Simulation and Analysis

Multiple improvements were made to increase the performance and usability of features for S-parameter simulation and analysis in FDTD Solutions. Mode port placement has been simplified with support for locating ports at PML interfaces. The new auto-symmetry option in the S-parameter sweep utility automatically determines the mapping between symmetric ports, minimizing the number of simulations required to calculate the full S-matrix. Additionally, simulation files for an S-parameter sweep can now be generated without running simulations, enabling users to distribute the sweep across several computational nodes in a cluster and collect the results to generate the full S-parameter matrix.

MODE Solutions - Version S2019A-R1 (7.13.1781)

Automation Improvements for EME Simulations

Custom cell group settings for the EME solver (such as number of trial modes, bent waveguide settings, etc.) can now be modified using the scripting language. With this capability users now have full access to EME solver settings through script, enabling completely automated simulation workflows. To see an example of how to use this feature check out this KB page: seteigensolver.

DEVICE - Version S2019A-R1 (7.3.1781)

Workflow Utility

New in DEVICE, Workflows allow you to easily build a multi-step simulation sequence within your project. This new utility can automate the execution of multiple solvers, parameter sweeps, data transfer and result analysis. Workflows support custom parameter and result definitions and can store solver configurations for documented repeatability of simulations. Multiple Workflows can be added to a project to capture different aspects of application-specific analysis. Learn more about Workflow Management with our example characterization of an electro-optic modulator.

Global Excitation (DGTD)

The global excitation feature introduces a background source with a random divergence-free spatial profile spanning the simulation domain. This enables the simultaneous excitation of all modes in a specified frequency range, simplifying resonance and Q-factor analysis. See this new feature in action by exploring our Plasmonic Resonator example.

Image Sensor Efficiency and Cross-Talk (CHARGE)

For photodetector and image sensor design, this new feature calculates the current collection probability at the contact(s) with a single steady-state CHARGE simulation. The resulting spatially varying collection probability gives an intuitive picture of the photodetector’s sensitivity to optical absorption, enabling tailored electrostatic design to maximize internal quantum efficiency and minimize cross-talk. With a single simulation, the signal in the direct and cross-talk channels can be calculated for arbitrary optical generation rate profiles, e.g. representing angular variation or micro-lens shift. For more information and a detailed example please see CMOS Image Sensor – Angular Response.

Automated IV Sweep (CHARGE)

New features in the electrical contacts make steady-state voltage sweeps easier for highly nonlinear devices, including avalanche photodiodes. In addition to voltage sweeps by range and by value, the new auto sweep enables fully automatic generation of IV curves based on a minimal input about the voltage grid, taking care of desired smoothness and managing successful convergence. To learn more about this new feature, please explore our 10-V Ge-on-Si APD with Si Multiplication application example.

Simplified Extraction and Modeling of Ion Implant Parameters (CHARGE)

New Scripts commands (implantrange, implantstraggle, implantskewness, implantkurtosis, and implantlateralscatter) calculate the necessary parameters for the implant doping objects based on the dopant species and implant energy. Additional commands (fitnormpdf, fitpearson4pdf) have also been added to fit measured doping profiles and extract the parameters for the implant doping model, enabling accurate parameterization of the implant model.

INTERCONNECT - Version S2019A-R1 (8.5.1781)

Lumerical and Cadence Integrated Design Flow

New features were included to enhance the electronics/photonics schematic driven design, co-simulation, and schematic driven layout work flow:

  • A new PDK verification feature offers PDK consistency checking (e.g., parameter names, model names, port names).
  • A new frequency response analysis is provided for electro-optical co-simulation.
  • Streamline electro-optical co-simulation is now supported by Virtuoso® ADE Explorer.
  • INTERCONNECT is automatically shut down by the end of electro-optical co-simulation.
  • INTERCONNECT simulation time window setup supports design variable.
  • INTERCONNECT netlister can netlist components having parent parameters (pPar).

For more information, please visit the following page: Integrated electronics/photonics design automation environment.

Lumerical and Mentor Integrated Design Flow

The Lumerical and Mentor layout-driven flow now enables users to design and layout production level photonic integrated circuits, using the new INTERCONNECT-Tanner interoperability option. It features:

  • Integrated tool flow:
    • Circuit layout in Tanner L-Edit Photonics complemented by Mentor’s new LightSuite™ Photonic Compiler
    • Physical verification with Calibre eqDRC
    • Netlist exchange from Tanner L-Edit Photonics circuit layout to INTERCONNECT
    • Circuit simulation and analysis with INTERCONNECT
  • PDK-centric circuit design: The tool flow is built around a Process Design Kit (PDK) comprised of:
    • Validated Mentor OA-based layouts for each foundry circuit component
    • Lumerical INTERCONNECT compact model library (CML) calibrated to the foundry process

The TowerJazz PH18 Mentor PDK complete with the TowerJazz Ph18 Lumerical INTERCONNECT based CML is available today. For more information and a demonstration of the flow, please visit the following page: Mentor and Lumerical Partner with TowerJazz to advance photonic IC design. Lumerical also offers the GPIC CML to support integrated flow demonstration with Mentor’s GPIC iPDK which serves as a template for PDK designers.

Protected Properties

When a property is protected in a published compact model, end-users cannot see, list or read the property through GUI or script environment, but this property can still be accessed and varied by the simulator in the Monte Carlo analysis tool. This is an additional functionality for building compact model libraries. See more.

Improvements to the Traveling Wave Laser Element

New feature in the Traveling Wave Laser Model element (TWLM) allows for time-resolved longitudinal carrier profile data to be output to a text file in matrix format. Check out the last section of this KB page to see an example of this feature: Laser TW (TWLM).

Bug Fixes

Shared Features

  • Waveguide object (Bezier curve) can accept poles in any order.
  • Program does not crash when providing wrong input to a planar solid.
  • stackrt does not give an incorrect error message when the number of layers and the number of frequency points is the same.
  • Improved concatenation of nested sweep results.
  • Vector plot gets updated with vector or scalar operation.

FDTD Solutions - Version S2019A-R1 (8.21.1781)

  • Fixed “FDTD version mismatch” test in resource configuration test reports.
  • fdtd-run-local.sh & fdtd-run-local.bat includes -t flag to improve CPU usage.
  • The script command workspace shows all data types.
  • Updated "fdtd-pbs-template.sh" script.
  • Overlap function unfolds data from monitors when using symmetric boundary conditions.

MODE Solutions - Version S2019A-R1 (7.13.1781)

  • Improved validation of parameter sweeps.
  • Improved GUI behavior in the EME setup tab inside the EME solver edit window.
  • Multiple reminders for new version of software are not shown.
  • Multi-coefficient material fitting works properly when plotting option "Show material data" is unchecked.
  • Consistent labeling of farfield dataset.
  • Calculation in "model" passes correct value to EME span setting.
  • Properties that cannot be accessed in parameter sweep are hidden in lists.

DEVICE - Version S2019A-R1 (7.3.1781)

  • Installation issues with newer versions of Visual C++ 2015 has been fixed.
  • Fixed slow calculation of partitioned volume for reported cases.

INTERCONNECT - Version S2019A-R1 (8.5.1781)

  • Standard file browser is used when looking for a file from the Property View editor.
  • INTERCONNECT session can be opened from any product using command opensession("interconnect").
  • Project files with relative path can be loaded using the script command load.
  • Optimization in the S parameter element reduces time to find filter coefficients in time-domain simulations.
  • Fixed broken link to Compound element help file.
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2019a-R2 Release Notes

FDTD Solutions - Version S2019A-R2 (8.21.1809)
MODE Solutions - Version S2019A-R2 (7.13.1809)
DEVICE - Version S2019A-R2 (7.3.1809)
INTERCONNECT - Version S2019A-R2 (8.5.1809)

New Features

Shared Features

Improvements to the bent waveguide solver (Optical Solvers)

Various improvements to the usability of the bent waveguide solver have been implemented:

  • The bend location is now a user-defined property.
  • When the solver is enabled, a glyph shows the circumference described by the bend location.
  • The angular propagation constant and angular loss are now reported in addition to the regular linear effective index and linear loss.

For more information, visit the KB documentation page.

Scripting language

The script environment of all Lumerical tools now provide more detailed error messages if the script has syntax errors.


MATLAB API now supports running Lumerical tools from MATLAB in non-graphical mode. See appopen for more information.

Python API

Error reporting when using unsupported data types has been improved.

Design environment

"[Read Only]" is now appended to the file name in the product title bar when the permissions of the project file are set to read only.


Improved Error Messages (CHARGE)

The CHARGE solver in DEVICE now provides more detailed error or warning messages in the job manager if the simulation fails to converge. It will also guide the user to useful resources online (Troubleshooting Convergence Issues) that can help improve their simulation setup to achieve convergence.


Scripting Language

The ‘setresult’ script command now supports matrices and datasets as arguments.

Bug Fixes

Shared Features

  • Fixed issues with numerical precision of parameter values in parameter and optimization sweeps.
  • Improved speed of data import from text files with readdata script command.
  • On Linux, script file extension (.lsf) is automatically appended if not specified when the script file is saved.
  • Wrong input to the nk import object does not cause the software to crash anymore.
  • Cell and structure arrays can now be stored in Lumerical data files (.ldf) using savedata script command.
  • When accessing a cell element in the Script Prompt, a semicolon is automatically added to prevent a syntax error.
  • Improved behavior when redrawing objects in the GUI from script.
  • Fixed bug introduced in 2019A-R1 that didn’t allow users to import data into the np density grid attribute object in FDTD and MODE from the GUI.
  • Fixed memory leaks in various script commands.
  • Fixed bug that added resource ID to .ini file when using addresource script command.


  • Fixed issues with unicode directory as file path and custom install directory.
  • Issues with uniform heat sources not being disabled properly has been fixed.
  • Fixed issues with material properties intermittently getting mixed up in DGTD simulations.
  • Issues with UNDO operation has been fixed.
  • Fixed issues with ‘unfoldsymmetricdata’ script command in handling vector data.
  • Script crashes with multiple GDS import commands has been fixed.


  • Issues with ‘unselectall’ script command has been fixed.
  • RIN noise in the CW laser model can now be enabled.
  • Random crash during parameter sweeps has been fixed.

2019a-R3 Release Notes

FDTD Solutions - Version S2019A-R3 (8.21.1854)
MODE Solutions - Version S2019A-R3 (7.13.1854)
DEVICE - Version S2019A-R3 (7.3.1854)
INTERCONNECT - Version S2019A-R3 (8.5.1854)

New Features

Shared Features

Turnkey installation of Lumerical-provided Python modules

Turnkey All Lumerical products now come with bundled Python ready to be used with the products using the Python API. The bundled python comes with the necessary add-ons giving the user immediate access to the full capabilities of Lumerical’s Python API. The new features enabled by the bundles Python include:

  • Ability to read/write/run Python script from Lumerical’s script editor.
  • Run App Gallery examples that uses Python API directly.
  • A Python integration window built-into the products that allows user to switch between the bundled Python or their custom-installed Python.

For more information, visit the KB documentation page.

Example Version Support in APP Gallery

The examples in APP Gallery now contains flags to inform the user whether an existing example has been updated recently (UPDATED) or if a new example has been added to the list (NEW). It will also warn the user if the example file requires a newer version of the product to run compared to the installed version when the user tries to download it.

Signed LogPlot (plot charge and other results on log scale)

The visualizer now supports log plots of signed quantities. This allows users to plot values like charge density which can contain both positive and negative values on a log plot for easy visualization.

Project File Status Visible in Product Titlebar

All products now show the read/write status of project files in the title bar. If the file is read-only in the disk, then the label “[Read Only]” appears after its name. If a user tries to save a read-only file, then the software will pop-up an error message.

Export Viewport to Image Using Script Command

The ‘exportview’ script command can now be used to export the viewport to a .png figure file. For more details on the use of this script commands check out this KB page.


Pupil Function

The Gaussian beam source now provides the option to define a custom pupil function in direction cosine space. The pupil function can be scalar to define an aperture or vectorial to modify the polarization of the beam. For more information, visit the KB documentation page and the Application Gallery example.


Improved Error Messages (CHARGE)

The error messages in the CHARGE solver are now more descriptive enabling the user to debug more easily. New documentation has also been added to provide guidelines to users on how to fix the most common convergence problems: Troubleshooting Convergence Issues.

In-product Graphics Settings

Users now have better control over the display driver settings during startup in some cases where the graphics card fails to support the 3D CAD environment of DEVICE allowing the user to disable hardware acceleration. The ‘About’ page in DEVICE now also shows information about the display driver.

Support for Unicode Paths

Unicode paths now work in DEVICE, given that the user’s system locale contains all characters used in the path. If a path contains characters that are not contained in the user’s system locale, a specific warning will be displayed upon failure to open/save that file (on Windows).

New Charge Results Added to CHARGE Solver (CHARGE)

The CHARGE solver now reports the net free charge density (free_charge = p-n) and the net space charge density (space_charge = ND-NA+p-n) as part of the result. There new results are available under the existing ‘charge’ dataset.

Small Signal AC Optical Generation Object for Bandwidth Calculation in PDs (CHARGE)

The CHARGE solver now offers a ‘small-signal ac optical generation’ option in the ‘small signal ac’ tab of the solver object that allows users to add a small signal AC component to their import optical generation rate object (OGR) for frequency response analysis of illuminated devices. It is a global option that applies to all such objects in the simulation. If there is an import OGR object and this option is checked, the OGR object will be used as a small signal source in the small signal AC simulation (CHARGE solver mode ssac). This provides a simple and robust solution to photodetector bandwidth calculations. Check out this page for a relevant App Gallery example: Vertical Photodetector.

Auto-Sweep and Range Backtracking Available in SSAC (CHARGE)

The electrical contacts in CHARGE solver now offers two new options for bias sweeps to enabling users to achieve convergence more easily.

  • Range Backtracking: The ‘range’ sweep option now has a ‘range backtracking’ option. If this option is enabled then the solver will automatically reduce the voltage step size, by a factor of 2 in case it fails to converge at a certain bias point during the voltage sweep. It will keep reducing the step size down to the min allowed value (defined by the user). If the simulation still fails to converge with the minimum step size then the simulation will stop and the job manager will show an error message. This option is particularly useful when running simulations that are hard to converge, e.g., APDs.
  • Auto Sweep: In this mode, bias is swept from a user defined start value to a user defined stop value (can be either a voltage or a current value). The user only defines the initial voltage step between the first and the second voltage points. From then on, the interval (bias step size) is determined by the solver depending on the smoothness of the I-V characteristic and the convergence success.

For more information on these options see this KB page: Boundary Conditions (Electrical Simulation).


Improvements to Monte-Carlo Analysis

Several improvements have been made to the Monte-Carlo analysis object.

  • The analysis object now has the ‘save to files’ and ‘load from files’ option in the context menu, allowing users to generate all the files and send them to remote clusters for simulation. Once the simulated files are retrieved, the results can be read from them into the analysis object.
  • The ‘Options’ window within the ‘File’ menu contains a new option to “Disable UI updates when running sweeps’ which is enabled by default. This means that when running sweeps or optimizations, including Monte-Carlo analyses, the user interface does not get updated (which is not necessary as the solver continues working in the background). This results in a more than two-fold increase in the simulation speed for Monte-Carlo analyses.
  • The ‘Batch size’ is now a parameter in the Monte-Carlo analysis object that the user can set. This allows the user to set the batch size to be equal to or a multiple of the number of simulations that can run in parallel, allowing the maximum use of resources throughout the entire analysis. If the user checks the ‘unbounded’ option, then the batch number is fixed internally and set to 10 (consistent with the behavior in the previous releases of INTERCONNECT).

Improved Interface of Element Library

Improvements have been made to the elements library to improve the user experience, including:

  • Improved search tools in Element Library that include a button to flatten hierarchy, autocomplete in the search bar and regex matching support. For more information, visit the KB documentation page.
  • The Custom and Design kits folders in the Element Library are automatically updated when new elements are added. In addition, when redirecting the Custom folder, the current selected folder is shown in the dialogue box.

Better Visualization Options for ONA Results

In the Visualizer the results from Optical Network Analyzers (ONA) can now be shown as a function of wavelength or frequency, independently of the “plot kind” property of the ONA. Note that results that report figures of merit in frequency or wavelength, e.g. FSR, will still depend on the “plot kind” property to determine whether the value is reported as frequency or wavelength.

Improved ‘setresult’ Script Command

The setresult script command now accepts matrices and datasets. For more information, visit the KB documentation page.

Bug Fixes

Shared Features

  • Fixed issues where ‘readdata’ script command would ignore the last file in the file.
  • CPI test failing error for Intel MPI has been fixed.
  • Duplicating structures in construction structure groups no longer results in crash.


Issues with the ‘run_simulations.bat’ file has been fixed.


  • Wavelength sweeps in EME can now be run through the ‘emesweep’ script command using the argument ‘wavelength sweep’, e.g., emesweep("wavelength sweep");.
  • The ‘stop wavelength’ parameter in the wavelength sweep in EME can now be set from script, e.g., setemeanalysis("stop wavelength", 1.6e-6);.
  • The job manager now reports error when an engine job fails in any of the MODE solvers.


  • Fixed issues with nested sweeps not running properly.
  • Adding objects through the setup script in ‘model’ now works.


  • The Optical N-port S-parameter elements can now handle empty lines at the end of the data file. This includes the ‘readnportsparameterat’ script command as well.
  • Results added to the Root element now appear immediately in the result view. The output window also warns user if any results are empty after the simulation ends.
  • Changing responsivity in PIN and APD elements now have immediate effect of the element behavior.
  • The noise of the primitive APD element now includes the effect of the ‘ionization ratio’.

2019a-R4 Release Notes

New Features

Shared Features

Added user-defined functions to Lumerical scripting language

User defined functions give the users the ability to define their own script functions with arbitrary inputs and output. For more information, visit the KB documentation page.

Better visualization for matrix datasets

The visualization of matrix datasets has been enhanced to display the data in a more natural way:

  • User can choose to show a parameter as row (data on the vertical axis increasing from top to bottom) or as column (data on the horizontal axis increasing from left to right).
  • Coloured blocks are now of equal size and integer-valued row or column indices are used.
  • The new visualization of matrices can also be accessed by using the visualize script command with matrix argument.

Startup scripts in all Lumerical products

The Lumerical startup scripts are automatically run each time the application starts up and they can be used to configure the global environment. They can also be forced to rerun using the script command runstartupscripts. For more information, visit the KB documentation page.

Script commands to read/write JSON files

The new jsonload and jsonsave script commands allow users to read and write data in JSON files. For more information, visit the KB documentation page.

Improvements to Python integration

It is now possible to create .py files in the Lumerical Script Editor.

Added option to Export to PNG from the Visualizer

It is now possible to export a plot in the Visualizer to a PNG file.

Script command version available in all products

The script command version to retrieve the current version of a product can now be run from any product.


ZBF export through GUI in FDTD

Users can now export data from a DFT monitor in FDTD by right-clicking on it and selecting the “Export to ZBF” option. This provides the same functionality as the script command zbfexport.


Draw depletion contours or any other iso-contours in the Visualizer

The visualizer now provides the option to plot contours on 2D/3D plots with finite element data. Users can define a single or multiple threshold value to plot a single or multiple contours on top of their result. This, for example, now allows the user to plot the depletion region of a pn junction by plotting a contour in the new ‘space charge’ result using the appropriate threshold.

Various improvements to the visualization of 2D/3D finite-element data

Significant improvements have been done to the visualization of 3D and 2D finite-element data.

  • 3D finite-element plots (including surface plots of 2D data) can now be easily locked to any Cartesian plane.
  • 2D finite-element surface plots (including 3D plots locked on a Cartesian plane) now keep the axes visible even when the user zooms into the plot.
  • Users now also have the ability to make the axes invisible when they want to take screenshots of 2D or 3D data without the axis.


Improved visualization of results from ONA

In the Visualizer the results from Optical Network Analyzers (ONA) can now be shown as a function of wavelength or frequency, independently of the “plot kind” property of the ONA.

Bug Fixes

Shared Features

  • Python bundled with products can now import pyplot from matplotlib on Mac OS.
  • Redrawoff now persists over multiple call from the API.
  • Fixed failure of script commands with dataset argument in Python API.
  • Fixed confusion in displayed PYTHONPATH on Windows.


  • Fixed software crash when visualizing S-parameter result with disabled source port.
  • Fixed problem preventing using zbf files as a source.
  • Fixed software crash when attempting to visualize results of a port that is oriented incorrectly.
  • Fixed bug preventing output ports from providing results in some configurations.
  • Fixed remote engine job freeze in “Wrapping up” stage.
  • Fixed issue causing growing number of engines actually being used in Job manager.
  • Fixed issue preventing the log file from being saved in current working directory when working on AWS S3.


  • FDE eigensolver defaults are now reset by newproject command and on deleting the FDE solver object.
  • Fixed normalization of “expansion” value in global diagnostics of EME.
  • Fixed problem with parameter settings in the Impedance tab of FDE solver being volatile.


  • Fixed incorrect temperature returned by HEAT solver when uniform heat source uses “volume” geometry type.
  • Fixed reduction of performance in CHARGE simulations compared to previous versions.
  • Fixed problem with band structure monitor in CHARGE not reporting results when user chooses to “Quit and Save” after a simulation has diverged.
  • Fixed axis scaling mismatch when visualizing charge.

2019a-R5 Release Notes

New Features

Shared Features

Apply Optimization Results to Design

Running an optimization now saves a copy of the original project file with an “_optimal” suffix. This project file is automatically set up with the optimal parameter values and contains the corresponding simulation results. The optimization object now also has the option to “apply best results to current simulation” to apply the optimal parameter values to the original project file.

Drag and Drop Data Files to Workspace

All products now support dragging and dropping of data files directly into the script workspace to load the data automatically. The supported data file types are .mat, .json, and .ldf.

Command Line Option to Specify Log File Output

New command line option now allows users to specify the save location of the log output file. By default, the log files will still get saved in the same folder as the project file. However, when this new option is used, the log output file will get saved in the user defined location instead.

Export Figures to PNG

The export button in ‘Figure’ and ‘Visualizer’ windows now have the option to export the plots to portable network graphics (.png) format. The ‘JPEG export’ is still available as an alternate option but the ‘PNG export’ is now the default option for all plots.

Script Commands to Add Paths and Texts to GDSII Files

New script commands gdsaddpath and gdsaddtext can now be used to add a segmented line path with a fixed width or a text notation to a GDSII file.

Structure Outlines

The visualizer now provides the option to draw structure outlines for both rectilinear and finite-element datasets. This means any spatial data that gets generated as a result of any solver (e.g. FDTD, FDE, CHARGE, DGTD, and others) can be viewed in the visualizer with the structure outlined superimposed on the data. Note that in order to be able to plot the structure outline on the data for rectilinear datasets, the ‘ID’ attribute must be added to the visualizer from the same dataset (if it is not already added automatically).

Contour Plots for Rectilinear Datasets

The visualizer now supports drawing iso-contours on image or surface plots from rectilinear data. The user can provide a single level to create a single contour or multiple levels as comma separated values to plot multiple iso-contours on the same image. By default the contour is drawn as a white line but the user has the option to use a dark (black) line instead.

Bug Fixes

Shared Features

  • The aspect ratio of images from rectilinear data now follows the aspect ratio of the window.
  • The width of the color bar in image plots now stay fixed when the visualizer/figure window is resized.
  • When locking unstructured data to a side view in the visualizer, the in-plane axes are now visible.
  • When visualizing far-field data the polar plot option is now again available.
  • Python API now provides clear error message when trying to run with 32-bit Python which it does not support.
  • Issues with default name when saving a new script file has been resolved.
  • Fixed crashes in the products when App Gallery fails to load properly.
  • The issue with visualizer not showing data for multi-line plots until an attribute is selected has been fixed.


  • Movie monitors now work in simulations running with multiple processes without any error.
  • Number of frequency points now remain fixed at 1 unless ‘multifrequency mode injection’ is selected in FDTD ports or mode sources.
  • Color bar range now properly adjusts when viewing abs(E)^2 in the visualizer.


  • When running a frequency sweep the value of the characteristic impedance (Z0) is now reported at the first frequency point as well.
  • The issue with matrix data not getting viewed from the ‘View Data’ option in the visualizer introduced in the previous version has been fixed.
  • The issue of the FDE solver not reporting frequency sweep results have been fixed.


  • When visualizing data from 1D bandstructure monitor the plot now defaults to ‘line’ plot instead of ‘image’ plot.
  • Issues with ‘zoom extent’ when visualizing finite-element data has been fixed.


  • Issues with ONA generating empty results for ‘angle’ when the unit is set to ‘deg’ instead of ‘rad’ has been fixed.
  • Issues in reading ONA results through python API introduced in the previous release has been fixed.
  • Annotated properties now show up in the CAD even when they are set up from scripts.
  • Crash issues has been fixed when the ‘installdesignkit’ command cannot find the .cml file.
  • The broken help links of the elements in elements library are now fixed.
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2019a-R6 Release Notes

Bug fixes


Fixed object selection problems in viewport in Windows 10.


  • Improve speed of rendering object from imported image.
  • Fixed repeated items in FDE add mode to global deck list.
  • Fixed repeated prompt for file name when exporting a mode from the global deck to .zbf file.


  • Optical signals from Traveling Wave Laser Model (TWLM) can now be downsampled using the Rational Resampler (RSMPL) element.
  • Fixed incorrect behavior of “group delay” filter option in MODE Waveguide Digital.
  • Fixed software crash when user tries to save unsupported data types with jsonsave script command.
  • Schematic editor now does not go blank after editing the root element and clicking the Cancel button.