Transforming Optical Design Workflows: The Latest Release of CODE V

Optical Solutions Editorial Team

Mar 15, 2023 / 4 min read

The new capabilities in CODE V version 2023.03 improve design workflows, from surface input to design export. The release includes the SagFit utility, which converts and fits surfaces more quickly and intuitively than ever before. It provides better optimization assistance and increases modeling design speed. It also includes enhanced interoperability with LightTools to easily simulate optical systems that contain imaging and non-imaging components.

Read on to learn how the latest features in CODE V can increase your productivity and help you design better optical systems faster.

New SagFit Utility

If you have measured sag data or CAD surfaces, you can use the new SagFit Utility to fit the surface to a native CODE V surface. Using native CODE V surfaces gives you additional flexibility and control to optimize your design. Here’s how it works in three easy steps:

  1. Open a sag data file or sample an existing surface in your current lens for the fitting process.
  2. Pick the surface type you would like to fit and define which terms you want to include. The process is interactive and reports statistics to help you evaluate the adequacy of the fit.
  3. Once you are happy with the fit, move to Export Surface where you can choose to apply your fitted surface to an existing surface, or insert the fitted surface as a new surface in your model.
CODE V SagFit Utility

CODE V SagFit Utility

New Example Model Library for Learning CODE V

The CODE V Example Model Library is a new resource to help you quickly learn how to use specific features in CODE V.

The library includes examples that cover a range of key CODE V features, including Global Synthesis for global optimization, Beam Synthesis Propagation to analyze diffraction-related characteristics, and SpecBuilder for setting up lens system specifications.

Each example model has documentation that describes the model, the features you will learn, and how to step through the example. Many examples include one or more sequence files that can execute the steps for you. You can open a sequence file to examine its Macro-PLUS code and run it to see the results.

To learn more, visit the Synopsys Learning Center and watch this two-minute video, CODE V Example Model Library.

We plan to grow this library with each release of CODE V — look for more examples to come soon!

CODE V Example Model Library interface

CODE V Example Model Library interface

Macro-PLUS Improvement: Optimization Constraint Sorting

The prior release of CODE V introduced the option to store constraint information from an optimization in the CODE V Worksheet Buffer.

The CODE V 2023.03 release adds the List Constraint Data macro that filters and sorts this constraint information. This can make it easier to understand the impact of active and weighted design constraints on system optimization.

To learn more, visit the Synopsys Learning Center and watch this six-minute video, Sorting Optimization Constraints in CODE V.

Macro-PLUS Improvement: Generate/Plot Data Only Over Defined Aperture Region

Several fabrication support macros in CODE V have been enhanced to let you generate and plot data only over the defined aperture region. The updated macros include:

  • seq for plotting curvature attributes of a surface
  • seq for a 2D sag map of a surface
  • seq to measure the sag departure of a surface from a reference surface

This enhancement also honors the lens Apertures Used (CA) setting.

CODE V macro plot data

CODE V macro plot data

Faster Macro Execution

Under-the-hood updates in this release facilitate faster execution of environmental analysis macros as well macros working on models with large numbers of pickups.

In addition, a new keyword, ABS, is available for the index of refraction database item, IND. When the ABS keyword is included, it returns the absolute value of the index, rather than the signed index.

New Help System

The help system in CODE V has been revamped for the 2023.03 release. The help system now uses the default installed browser to display help topics and provide easy access to all information in the CODE V reference manuals.

The help is still installed with CODE V, so no internet connection is necessary. As in previous releases, you can access the help in CODE V by going to the Help menu, pressing the F1 key on your keyboard, or clicking a Help button in the CODE V interface.

CODE V help system

CODE V help system

Enhanced Interoperability with LightTools

This release includes enhancements to interoperability with LightTools to perform stray light analysis from your CODE V lens. You can export encrypted thin film coatings and more robust apertures in the optical system file.

Additionally, you can export lenses with hole apertures, and they will display in LightTools as holes on the lens surface that can be manipulated in the 3D Design view or the System Navigator.

Hole aperture modeled in LightTools

Hole aperture modeled in LightTools

New Licensing Option: Synopsys Common Licensing

CODE V 2023.03 supports two licensing options: Legacy Licensing and Synopsys Common Licensing (SCL).

Most customers will continue using Legacy Licensing, which is the same type of licensing used in previous releases. If you will use the same Host ID as previous releases, choose Legacy Licensing.

Your Synopsys Optical Design Solutions representative will contact your company representative if you need to use SCL licensing.


CODE V 2023.03 is available now. Customers with a current maintenance agreement can download this version from the Synopsys website using their SolvNetPlus account, or obtain the software from their local distributor.

If you would like to try CODE V, submit a request to set up a 30-day evaluation.

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