Showcasing the Latest in Synopsys’ Optical Design Software: Highlights and Insights from the Optical Solutions User Conference

Optical Solutions Editorial Team

Jan 18, 2024 / 2 min read

Since our initial foray into the realm of optical software in 1963, we have consistently strived for precision and the highest standards. Updated features of our products ensure enhanced efficiency for engineers and support innovation within the field. The Synopsys Optical Solutions portfolio continues to drive advancements, particularly in handling complex system optimization. At our recent user conference at the Synopsys headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif., we showcased the expansive array of features and functionalities in CODE V, LightTools, and RSoft Photonic Device Tools.

Product-Specific Updates

For CODE V, we presented the latest features to help streamline design workflows. These features included a surface sag-fitting interface, a method to sort optimization constraints to see which constraints are driving system performance, and a new built-in Example Model Library.

We also dedicated a presentation to Ghost Image Analysis with the CODE V Beam Synthesis Propagation feature, which calculates the peak irradiance of ghost images. Additionally, we delved into the importance of lens mounting details in passive athermalization.

For LightTools, we presented improvements to geometry construction, polarization and coherent simulation, as well as a host of other enhancements. Attendees learned LightTools tips for characterizing bulk and surface optical properties, including visualizing the contents of the SmartStart material library. We demonstrated the interactive analysis capabilities of the Advanced Analysis utility, available as a Beta version in LightTools 2023.03. Advanced Analysis is ideal for automotive applications and is a shared feature between LightTools and LucidShape CAA V5 Based. Additionally, we showed how to use the Backlight Pattern Optimizer effectively to find the optimal mapping of a pattern onto a curved surface.

For RSoft, the speed of UDOP BSDF interface to LightTools has been increased dramatically, and the usability of Sentaurus TCAD interface has been improved significantly. We also presented tips for symbol tables, using the Python API to draw polygons, simulation tricks, and MetaOptic Designer tips.

Jannick Rolland presents on freeform optics at the Synopsys Optical Solutions User Conference in November 2023 | Synopsys

Jannick Rolland presents on freeform optics at the Synopsys Optical Solutions User Conference in November 2023

Advances in Optical Design

Other conference presentations focused on advances in optical design, including the latest on metalens design, freeform optics, and tolerancing illumination systems. Our talk on MetaOptic Designer outlined how the tool has been a game changer for helping designers at all levels of expertise create novel metalens designs quickly and easily. Dr. Jannick Rolland of the Center for Freeform Optics highlighted the latest research and developments in this evolving field. We also demonstrated recent advances in tolerancing illumination optics that can lead to crucial time and cost benefits for the engineering process.

Other presentations showcased applications-based development such as designing a pancake lens in
CODE V, modeling polarization elements in RSoft Device Tools, and developing new design workflows for CMOS image sensors.


The Synopsys Optical Solutions user conference provided a forum for technical presentations, design case studies, networking, and industry trends. Attendees also previewed upcoming new features in Synopsys products and had the opportunity to meet with our Support Team to discuss product questions and feature requests.

As optics continues to evolve into multi-component, multi-scale systems, usage of more than one optical software tool will be necessary to solve these complex design challenges. To address this, we have been enhancing interoperability between CODE V, LightTools, and RSoft Photonic Device Tools. We can now seamlessly bring CODE V geometry into LightTools and simulate diffraction effects from RSoft in LightTools. This is an example of our vision and strategy in offering an all-inclusive optics and photonics platform. We aim to revolutionize the interface between our tools to tackle complex issues seamlessly and quickly to enable your key applications.

Special thanks to Professor Jannick P. Rolland, from the University of Rochester and the Center for Freeform Optics, for presenting the keynote at the conference.

View conference presentations, videos, and supporting files on SolvNetPlus (account required, must log in first to view this link):

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