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Lumerical Solutions Release Latest Version of Their Nanophotonics Design Software

Published on January 13, 2011 at 8:18 PM

Lumerical Solutions, Inc., a global provider of nanophotonics design software, today announced the immediate release of FDTD Solutions 7.5. This release features a concurrent computing capability which allows users to easily distribute simulations on multiple independent computer resources.

Together with Lumerical's well established capabilities for distributed computation on high-performance computing clusters, FDTD Solutions 7.5 offers dramatic speed improvements when used on multiple desktops and workstations within traditional computer networks.

"FDTD Solutions 7.5 allows end-users to optimally achieve design goals on modern computing hardware," according to Dr. James Pond, Lumerical's CTO. "This release completes a multi-year mission to get individual computers simulating as fast as possible, and then to send those simulations to all available computers conveniently from your workstation. The time required to find an optimal design can easily be reduced by a factor of ten or more using the computers found in most offices or labs."

Accessible, Usable Design Capabilities

"Customers tell us that ease of use is a major concern when performing complex tasks such as optimization and parameter sweeps, especially when trying to use multiple hardware resources," explains Chris Kopetski, Lumerical's Director of Technical Services. "In FDTD Solutions 7.5, a new user is able to take advantage of all available hardware on a given OS without leaving their workstation, making this release of FDTD Solutions the most useable nanophotonic design environment today."

With the broadest OS support in the industry, including Windows, Linux and MAC versions, virtually every office network can benefit from the new capabilities introduced in FDTD Solutions 7.5, at no extra charge.

According to Dr. Annette Grot, Senior Staff Engineer at Pacific BioSciences, "the combination of automatically farming simulations jobs to multiple computers and being able to easily set up optimization tasks with FDTD Solutions 7.5 changes it from a simulation tool to a design tool. Lumerical's engineers have done an excellent job providing solutions to their customers' toughest problems."

A Four-Fold Approach to Going Faster
Over past development cycles, Lumerical has taken great care to reduce the time required to arrive at an optimal design. Four main development approaches have been undertaken to achieve this goal:

  • Avoid extraneous computations. Developments including multi-coefficient dispersive material modeling, conformal mesh technology, and advanced optimization algorithms are representative of the efforts taken to ensure that minimal time is wasted computing results that are not required.
  • Run the FDTD update equations as fast as possible. FDTD Solutions' computational engine is optimized to run on modern CPU architectures at close to the maximum theoretical possible limit.
  • Run FDTD simulations as fast as possible using distributed computing. FDTD Solutions' computational engine employs MPI communications to distribute parts of the simulation to multiple processors, either across the cores of any modern workstation or the nodes of high performance cluster.
  • Optimize designs using concurrent computing. Any design task involves running multiple simulations. The Job Manager introduced in FDTD Solutions 7.5 sends jobs to all readily available workstations and collects the results via a graphical user interface. As job throughput scales with the number of computers available, concurrent computing offers significant speedups to users with access to multiple computers.

Researchers and designers can access the concurrent computing capabilities available in FDTD Solutions 7.5 by obtaining Extra Engines licenses. Each additional Extra Engine license enables another computer resource to take part in a parameter sweep or optimization task. By deploying FDTD Solutions 7.5 alongside Extra Engines, users can make maximal use of their computing resources to rapidly explore a broad parameter space to identify the best design.

Availability
Lumerical is now shipping Release 7.5 of FDTD Solutions. Interested parties can download a free, 30-day trial online or learn more about FDTD Solutions by visiting http://www.lumerical.com/fdtd.php.

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