2020a Release Notes

2020a-R1 Release Notes

New Features

Shared Features

Support for Amazon Linux and Windows Server 2019

Amazon Linux and Windows Server 2019 are now officially supported as HPC/cloud platform for running Lumerical products.

Format and precision specification in num2str command

The script command num2str converts an integer, floating point number, or matrix into a string. It is now possible to specify the format and precision of the output using a subset of the options in the Boost format notation. For more information please visit our documentation. See the original idea in IX.

Online activation for all MAC and TRIAD MAC licenses

Customers purchasing a MAC locked license model receive an activation code to obtain the corresponding license file for the machine where FlexLM will be hosted. This is particularly useful for online self-activation of FDTD Burst Packs. For more information please visit our documentation.

New script commands to query setup and analysis script properties and results

The new script commands queryuserprop, queryanalysisprop and queryanalysisresult return the setup/analysis script property/result names and the numeric code for their type.


Multi-Quantum Well (MQW) solver

The new Multi-Quantum Well (MQW) solver simulates quantum mechanical behavior in atomically thin semiconductor layers, enabling engineers to accurately characterize band structure, gain and spontaneous emission in multi-quantum well structures. A preview release of the MQW solver was available in 2019b-R2 for early evaluations and benchmark tests. The solver has proven to be effective for calculating spontaneous emission and gain spectra for different types of active devices (e.g. SOAs, edge emitting lasers and VCSELs), which are key inputs to Lumerical’s travelling wave laser model (TWLM). In concert with INTERCONNECT and the TWLM, the MQW gain solver enables complete modeling and simulation of SOAs and edge emitting lasers. It is now included in the Lumerical Launcher as part of the DEVICE Multiphysics suite, allowing users without a MQW license to self-serve a trial. For more information please visit our documentation.

FDTD engine checkpointing

FDTD users have now the option to either checkpoint at shutdown anytime the simulation ends (except when Quit & don’t save is selected), or the option to periodically checkpoint during simulation, and the facilities to later launch and resume that simulation. These capabilities provide great flexibility to run large simulations, for example in spot-instances (and other large shared computing resources) that require the ability to interrupt low-priority long-running tasks, sometimes with little notice. Users can also pause a simulation to check its current status and then resume it if necessary. It is even possible to adjust the autoshutoff level without having to restart the whole simulation. Checkpointing can be configured in the Advanced options of the FDTD solver edit window and simulations can be resumed from the GUI with the resume button or via script. For more information see this SPARK video.

Ability to collect data in a custom frequency grid in monitors in FDTD

FDTD users can now set the frequency spacing for frequency-domain field monitors, refractive index monitors and mode expansion monitors using a Chebyshev grid (in frequency or wavelength) or a custom frequency grid. The new frequency spacing options are available also in the Global monitor properties. See the original IX idea.

Global optimization for Photonic Inverse Design (PID) using basin-hopping approach

Lumerical’s photonic inverse design (PID) package lumopt now incorporates global optimization using the basin-hopping method. In concert with penalty-function constraints, basin-hopping enables the optimizer to efficiently explore a much broader parameter space, ensuring more consistent identification of optimal designs. 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 at https://github.com/chriskeraly/lumopt. To help new users get started with PID, examples such as this Grating coupler, are included in Lumerical’s Application Gallery.

Export to INTERCONNECT tools in EME wavelength sweep tool

The results from the wavelength sweep tool in EME, including group delay, can now be automatically saved in a text file that can be imported in the Optical N-port S-parameter element in INTERCONNECT. See the original IX idea.

Script command to export/import optical Material Database in FDTD and MODE

The new script commands exportmaterialdb and importmaterialdb allow users to save/load material properties in the Material Database to/from a .mdf file using the scripting environment.


Script command importlib to run corner analysis in INTERCONNECT

The new script command importlib accesses an specified .lib file and applies the changes in parameter values defined there to each (applicable) element in the current project file.

Report key 1D laser simulation results from TWLM

The Traveling Wave Laser Model (TWLM) in INTERCONNECT now returns the following optical properties as a function of position:
• carrier density profile
• photon density
• forward/backward power density
• recombination rates (non-radiative and radiative)
• gain spectra
• spontaneous emission spectra
• lumped gain spectra (single pass)

Improved interpolation in setsparameter script command for multiple frequency points

The setsparameter script command with the ‘propagation’ option models waveguides with loss, effective and group index, dispersion and dispersion slope specified at one or multiple frequency points. The interpolation scheme between different frequency points in the data has been improved to avoid discontinuities in the propagation constant used in the model.

CML Compiler documentation in Support portal

The documentation for the CML compiler has been migrated to the Support portal where users can now find the documentation for all Lumerical products. A valid CML Compiler license is required to access some of the contents.

CML Compiler generates compact models with statistical variations

CML compiler users can create compact model libraries with elements that account for statistical variations, allowing the end-user of the CML to perform Monte-Carlo simulations and corner analysis. For more information please visit our documentation (access requires valid CML Compiler license).

CML Compiler available with Lumerical installation package

The CML compiler installation folder is now included in the installation package of all Lumerical products which can be downloaded here. For more information please visit our documentation (access requires valid CML Compiler license).

Verilog-A oscilloscope shows results for all channels and modes (CML Compiler)

The oscilloscope for Verilog-A photonic models allows users to view results of all channels and two fundamental modes with a single simulation. In the past, users were restricted to a single channel and mode per simulation.

Template library for CML compiler only accessible by running cml-compiler command with new argument

The Lumfoundry template library can now only be deployed by using the cml-compiler command with the “template” argument. The deployed template library contains all the source data and configuration files (fully editable) required for building your first CML with the CML compiler. For more information please visit our documentation (access requires valid CML Compiler license).

Interoperability Products

Virtuoso ADE GUI entry for displaying INTERCONNECT co-simulation netlist

The existing INTERCONNECT netlists for co-simulation testbench are now conveniently displayed in the Virtuoso ADE window under the tree of INTERCONNECT co-simulation setup, so that users do not have to recreate the netlist every time they are setting up their testbench.

2020a-R2 Release Notes

New Features

Shared Features

Support for RHEL8

Lumerical products now support running in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL8).

New deleteattribute script command

Users can use the new deleteattribute script command to delete attributes from a dataset. This will allow them to update existing attributes from datasets from the scripting interface.

Script command to solve systems of linear equations

The new solve script command can be used to solve a system of linear equations. Find details on how to use this new command here: solve.

Search and replace in script editor

The script editor in all Lumerical products now offer a search and replace tool to easily update large script files.


Animate steady-state E-field plots

Users can now animate electric field result data from the DFT monitors in FDTD to visualize how the field varies in steady-state for a certain frequency. This feature was developed based on a user submitted idea in IX. View the original idea here: https://ix.lumerical.com/ideas/FDTD-I-94.

Better farfieldexact parallelism on high core count machines

The farfield calculations have been improved to utilize all available cores on machines with high core counts to minimize the calculation time.

S-parameter sweep and export to INTERCONNECT in EME

The new S-parameter sweep object in EME will allow users to perform S-parameter sweep over a given wavelength (frequency) range and easily export the data to Interconnect for compact model generation.


Non-Gaussian distribution in Monte-Carlo sweeps

The Monte-Carlo sweep object in Interconnect now supports describing statistical parameters using non-Gaussian distributions. Users can choose the Pearson IV distribution function from the user interface to enable this functionality. For more details about Pearson IV capabilities in our scripting language go to these pages: pearson4pdf and fitpearson4pdf.

New photonic model for grating couplers (CML Compiler)

CML Compiler now offers a new photonic model that enables users to create Interconnect compact model for grating couplers more efficiently.

Interoperability Products

Corner/MC analysis through Virtuoso co-simulation

Users running co-simulation between Virtuoso and Interconnect can now run statistical simulations. The new feature supports running both corner analysis and Monte-Carlo analysis for electro-optical co-simulations driven directly from the user interface in Virtuoso.

Optical meter photonic Verilog-A model

The Lumerical photonic Verilog-A library now offers an optical meter that can be user to probe the power of an optical signal anywhere in the circuit.

2020a-R3 Release Notes

New Features

Shared Features

Built-in tool to provide feedback

Users can now provide feedback from within the products by rating the products as they use them.

Improved support for HPC job schedulers

Lumerical users can now integrate the CAD Job Manager with the most popular HPC job schedulers. With this new feature, running a simulation on a cluster can be just as seamless as running it on your local computer. For more detailed information go to this page: Lumerical job scheduler integration configuration (Slurm, Torque, LSF, SGE).


Export file with animated E-field movie

FDTD users can now export their E-field animations from the visualizer to a movie file (.mp4).

New mqwindex script command

MQW solver users can now use the mqwindex script command to calculate the complex index, gain, and spontaneous emission for TE and TM modes in multiple quantum well structures.

Stimulated recombination model for charge transport

The CHARGE solver can now calculate the stimulated recombination rate and report it as a result of the solver. For more details on all the supported recombination models take a look at this page: Semiconductor material model properties.


Auto-fitting histograms with non-Gaussian PDF

In Interconnect Monte-Carlo sweep object, the histograms of results now get fitted with a Pearson IV distribution along with a Gaussian distribution. The tool automatically picks the distribution function that provides the best fit and reports it.

Auto generate Verilog-A symbols for Virtuoso from CML Compiler

CML Compiler now automatically generates symbols for photonic Verilog-A models that can be used directly in Virtuoso allowing users to use their photonic Verilog-A models (created by CML Compiler) directly in Virtuoso without requiring any manual mapping.

Statistical enablement of electrical phase shifter model

CML Compiler can now create statistically enabled compact models for electrical phase shifters. For more details check out this page: phase_shifter_electrical - CML Compiler Model.

Statistical enablement of photodetector model

CML Compiler can now create statistically enabled compact models for photodetectors. For more details check out this page: photodetector_simple - CML Compiler Model.

Interoperability Products

Virtuoso corner analysis for ONA and OTRAN

Users running co-simulation between Virtuoso and Interconnect can now perform corner analysis for optical circuits from Virtuoso by driving Interconnect in the background for both frequency and time domain simulations.

2020a-R4 Release Notes

New Features

Shared Features

New tour window for trial users

Trial users can now download the product and use a brand new tour window to browse App Gallery examples and request trials for necessary products from within the tool.

Far field projection from rectilinear datasets

The script commands used for farfield projection (farfield2d, farfieldvector2d, farfieldpolar2d, farfieldangle, farfield3d, farfieldvector3d, farfieldpolar3d, farfieldux, farfielduy, farfieldexact2d, farfieldexact3d, farfieldexact) can now take a rectilinear dataset as input allowing users to post process field data before doing farfield projection.


Improved import source for broadband simulation

The import source in FDTD has been upgraded to handle broadband sources more accurately. The user interface has also been improved to offer the user more control over different source settings.

Generate script from the GUI

Based on the popular IX idea (Generate script from the GUI) this script based feature allows users to convert their FDTD project files into a script file that sets up the simulation exactly in the same way. This is an initial prototype and can be found in this KX post: FDTD Project-to-Script Prototype.


CML Compiler in unified installer

Like all other Lumerical products, CML Compiler now gets installed as part of the same unified installer giving users a seamless single installation experience. Once installed, CML Compiler can be launched from the Launcher similar to other products.

Auto generate Virtuoso library and symbols for Interconnect CMLs in CML Compiler

CML Compiler now automatically generates Virtuoso symbols for photonic INTERCONNECT compact model libraries (CMLs) that can be loaded directly in Virtuoso, allowing users to run electro-optical cosimulations directly in Virtuoso without requiring any manual mapping.

New grating coupler photonic Verilog-A model

CML Compiler can now generate photonic Verilog-A models for grating couplers. Details about the photonic model an be found here: grating_coupler - CML Compiler Model.

New corner analysis object in INTERCONNECT

INTERCONNECT now has a new corner analysis object that can be used to perform corner analysis of circuits created using statistical CMLs generated manually or by CML Compiler. More details about this new object can be found here: Corner analysis utility.

Interoperability Products

Ability to handle larger datasets through Python API

The Python API has been improved to handle larger datasets more efficiently. The system memory required to read/write large datasets have also been greatly reduced.

2020a-R5 Release Notes

New Features

Shared Features

New tool gallery in Launcher

The Lumerical Launcher now offers a tool gallery section where users can find all the third-party tool integration options and request for trials directly from within the produts.

Resume previously run particle swarm optimization

Users can now continue or extend previously run particle swarm optimization. If an optimization is closed before reaching the end, then it can be resumed from the point where it was stopped. An optimization that has been completely run can also be extended by increasing the generation number without the need to start from the beginning.

New copyproperties script command

The new copyproperties script command can be used to copy similar properties between different types of objects. For example, to set the dimension of a DFT monitor named ‘monitor’ to match the dimension of an object named ‘rectangle’, simply use the script command setproperties(‘rectangle’, ’monitor’); .

Play script blocks in script editor

The script editor in all Lumerical products now have a new button that allows users to run blocks of code sequentially. Blocks can be defined / separated by double hash (##). Users can click the new play block button to run the script block they are currently in. Once the current block is run, the editor automatically highlights the next block for the ease of running it next.

New clc script command to clear script prompt

The new clc script command will allow users to clear the script prompt easily. This development was done based on the popular idea in IX: https://ix.lumerical.com/ideas/LUM-I-65.


Ability to get the contour of arbitrary geometry

Primarily focused on enabling photonic inverse design (PID) users to export the GDS of their design efficiently, this new feature offers two options. Users can visualize (for example) the index plot for their design and from the visualizer they now have the option to generate contours outlining the geometry of their design and export it to the script workspace. Alternatively, users can perform the same operation from the script environment using the new getcontour script command. Once the contour information is in the script workspace, they can exported to GDS files using the gdsaddpoly script command.

Layer builder supports foundry technology files

The layer builders in all the products within the DEVICE suite now allows users to load a foundry technology file containing information about the foundry process and generate the geometry of any device accurately and automatically by simply loading the GDS file of the device. Users can also choose to set the sidewall angle for the different layers to accurately model the effect of sidewall angle in the performance of the devices.

Export select materials from database

The new exportmaterialdb script command can now accept an optional second argument allowing users to define a single (as a string) or multiple (as a cell of strings) optical materials to export. With this option users can now export only the materials they need to export without needing to export the entire database. It is worth mentioning that this functionality along with the new importmaterialdb script command, users can now export and import optical materials directly from the script workspace.

Support for AlGaInAs in MQW solver

The MQW solver now supports AlGaInAs material model. The default material database includes the necessary material data for the end users to use this material in their designs directly.


Support for variable grating structures in TWLM model

The traveling wave laser model (TWLM) in INTERCONNECT now supports variable grating structures allowing users to model manufacturing variations as well as complex gratings in DFB lasers.

EAM photonic Verilog-A model

CML Compiler can now generate photonic Verilog-A models for electro-absorption modulators (EAM). For details about the model capabilities check out his page: electro_absorption_modulator – Photonic Model.

Photonic Verilog-A model for parameterized waveguide

CML Compiler now can generate photonic Verilog-A models for parameterized waveguides allowing the users to create waveguide models that can be parameterized by waveguide width or height for example.

Statistically enabled grating coupler model

CML Compiler can now generate statistically enabled grating coupler model. More details about the supported statistical parameters can be found here: Grating Coupler (Statistical) - Lumfoundry Template.