In this major release of OptiFDTD we have introduced graphical user interface enhancements and design flow improvements to the Designer, Simulator and Analyzer. These important improvements greatly simplify the design process, simulation and analysis of complex devices and will help designers to more quickly reach their design and performance validation goals.
NEW FEATURE Upgraded Mode Solvers
This release includes the latest version of the Optiwave mode solver application, OptiMode 4.0, which delivers the 64-bit Anisotropic Mode Solver and new Mode Measure calculations. For more details on OptiMode 4.0 see the “OptiMode Release Notes” document.
NEW FEATURES Detector Analysis
The Detector Analysis tools have been redesigned to simplify and make access to detector data more convenient. You can now easily browse the Detectors within the project browser tree, view the graph or optical field for the selected detector in the application main window and have an overview of the related key data in the information pane, in which the user may observe parameter values (if any) associated with the project, e.g. parameter sweep. We have also added a number of toolbars which provide fast access to the menu options to control the displayed information.
Note: To help with the transition from the old UI to the new one, we still keep available the old “Detector Analysis” interface under Tools menu item.
For an overview on how to use the new detector analysis features please see the OptiFDTD Getting Started Guide
Fig 1: New OptiFDTD Analyzer View
Fig 2: Example view for Observation Points (Frequency domain)
Fig 3: Example view for Observation Areas
NEW FEATURE Import of 3D shapes into the Designer
With the introduction of this feature, users are no longer confined to using the OptiFDTD built-in 3D Editor. Designers can now use third party 3D CAD software of their choice, export the designed shapes into the generic (IGES) 3D file format, import it into OptiFDTD Designer and then configure these for simulations. You can develop a number of independent, stand-alone objects, even a full layout, and import it into the Designer for simulations.
For details on how to import a 3D object please see Design Tutor/Import of 3D shapes into the Designer for OptiFDTD Designer
Fig 4: New Import 3D shapes feature – In this example a truncated pyramid (with round top) object has been imported into the 3D Editor of OptiFDTD Designer. The IGS file for this 3D object can be found in the OptiFDTD 13 Samples\3D_samples\3D_shapes folder.
NEW FEATURE Dynamic optical field visualization during simulations
Typically, the FDTD simulations are like a “black box”, once started the user has to wait until the simulation completes to observe the simulation progress (e.g. movie) or the simulation results. With this release we have enabled the user to observe in real time the optical field formation during the simulations. You can choose to visualize optical field propagation within the Observation Areas and/or dynamically selected cuts across the simulation domain.
For more information on how to use this feature please see Design Tutor/Simulate for OptiFDTD Designer.
Fig 5: New Runtime Field View feature – This new feature can be accessed (from the Simulation progress window) at any time after the simulation starts.
Fig 6: Example view for Observation Areas – This example shows the progress of the Ey field propagation (pulsed excitation) as it travels through a ring resonator structure.
Fig 7: Example view for Observation Areas – This example shows the same ring design but with the Height plot feature enabled.
NEW FEATURE Shape cross-section outline over the optical field view
In the Observation Area optical field view of the OptiFDTD Analyzer, the user may choose to display an outline overlay of the 3-dimensional shapes intersecting the Observation Area. This great visualization tool allows designers to observe the relation between the Layout shapes and formation of the optical field.
Fig 8: Example view of waveguide outline overlay for a ring resonator design – The waveguide contours can be seen as black lines.
NEW FEATURE Simplified Waveguide Profile and Material management
We have removed the strong dependency on the old master.plb file, the former database of Waveguide Profiles and Materials. We have provided import/export functionality supported by the XML-based file format. The user may now import into a project (or export from it) a Profile and/or Material definition into an independent (XML) file. This allows materials and waveguide cross-sections to be easily defined and shared.
Note: Access to master.plb is still available, so that users may export their Profiles and Materials. The support for master.plb will be phased out, eventually.
For an overview on how to use the new waveguide profile and material management features please see the Design Tutor for Profile Designer OptiFDTD.
Fig 9: Example of how to import a material from the OptiMaterialLibary into a design project (1)
Fig 10: Example of how to import a material from the OptiMaterialLibary into a design project (2)
NEW FEATURE OptiMode XS Designer and Profile Designer Tutor pages
To make it easier for the users to find information on how to quickly setup materials and profiles and to find modes for their designs, we have extended the Design Tutor feature (which currently is supported with OptiFDTD Designer) to include OptiMode XS Designer and Profile Designer OptiFDTD. The Design Tutor describes basic constructs and operational concepts for these applications.