The RSoft Photonic Device Tools 2023.03: Expanding Horizons in Metalens Design and Multi-Physics Simulations

Optical Solutions Editorial Team

Apr 17, 2023 / 3 min read

The RSoft™ Photonic Device Tools provide the most comprehensive set of rigorous optical solvers to design photonic devices and systems. The latest release, version 2023.03, expands the platform’s capabilities for automated metalens design as well as multi-physics simulations for optoelectronic devices and illumination systems.

Enhanced Metalens Design

Synopsys continues to enable efficient metalens development with updates to MetaOptic Designer, a unique inverse design tool that takes user-specified design criteria and generates metalenses/metasurfaces for optimal performance. MetaOptic Designer was a finalist in the 2023 Prism Awards recognizing industrial innovation in photonics.

MetaOptic Designer generates metalens layouts

MetaOptic Designer generates metalens layouts

The tool has been enhanced in the 2023.03 release to import refractive lenses designed in CODE V. This is useful for optimizing hybrid optical systems that combine metalenses with refractive elements, such as cell phone lens systems.

Effectively using aspheric surfaces in a design can help improve image quality, and CODE V provides powerful aspheric design capabilities to realize these performance benefits while considering manufacturability and fabrication costs. For example, CODE V’s Q-type aspheric surfaces enable superior design optimization and tolerancing.

CODE V lenses can be loaded into MetaOptic Designer in three different formats:

  • CODE V aspheric surface coefficients
  • CODE V Qcon aspheric surface coefficients
  • CODE V sequence files containing all surface information

Other updates to MetaOptic Designer include:

  • The ability to import materials from the RSoft CAD Environment. It allows you to directly use existing or user-defined library materials.
  • Optical systems and their materials and refractive indices can be visualized with the new Preview option. This helps confirm the manufacturability of optical systems.
  • When metalens designs are completed and ready for fabrication, designers can export them to IND and GDS layout files. In this release, there is flexibility to generate IND and GDS layout files separately, which can speed processing time. You can generate one or both formats, depending on your fabrication requirements.
  • In addition to transmissive metalenses, you can design reflective metalenses. This feature also allows you to check the reflection from a designed transmissive metalens — or vice versa.
  • In addition to intensity, phase profile can also be an optimization target. It allows you to design metalenses for phase-sensitive applications.

TCAD Interface for Multi-Physics Simulations

The RSoft Photonic Device Tools are integrated with Synopsys TCAD products to provide streamlined, multi-disciplinary simulations of complex optoelectronic devices. It is a bi-directional interface that uses native file formats for efficient, robust analysis – with no messy file format conversions. The interface is particularly useful for applications that benefit from multi-physics simulations, such as phase shifters, photodetectors, and CMOS image sensors.

The interface has been updated in this release with support for the new TDR format used by Sentaurus 2022.12 for optical simulations and a new RSoft TCAD Wizard to assist with design file and simulation script creation.

nterface between RSoft Photonic Device Tools and Synopsys TCAD

The interface between RSoft Photonic Device Tools and Synopsys TCAD is useful for highly accurate simulations of phase shifters, photodetectors, and CMOS image sensors

Faster BSDF Analysis

Synopsys provides a complete optical design workflow for nano-textured diffractive optical elements that enable smaller, lightweight AR/VR devices with improved displays and immersive experiences.

This workflow includes a seamless interface between LightTools and the RSoft Photonic Device Tools for virtual prototyping of light as it traverses optical and mechanical components in an AR/VR model, and the RSoft tools for fast, rigorous modeling of nano-textured optical structures. LightTools and RSoft provide a unique multi-domain simulation approach that shares Bidirectional Scattering Distribution Function (BSDF) data to help AR/VR device designers achieve superior light extraction efficiency, beam shaping, and color tuning.

Version 2023.03 of the RSoft Photonic Device Tools features improved performance for the RSoft BSDF user-defined optical properties when using a single thread within LightTools. The processing speed is improved by up to 2x.

Synopsys Cloud Options

The RSoft Photonic Device Tools are now available on Synopsys Cloud, which was released in March 2022 and has been chosen as the design platform of choice for many customers in the last 12 months. Synopsys Cloud users can take advantage of our FlexEDA model of unlimited pay-per-use software, as well as short-duration subscription licenses.

Synopsys Cloud users can choose between two deployment options: Bring-Your-Own-Cloud (BYOC) or Synopsys Cloud Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). In the Synopsys Cloud SaaS environment, you can take advantage of virtual machines that have been optimized for RSoft Photonic Device Tools.

Learn more about Synopsys Cloud options for the RSoft Photonic Device Tools and how to get started.

If you would like to try RSoft Photonic Device Tools, submit a request to set up a 30-day evaluation.


Version 2023.03 of the RSoft Photonic Device Tools 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.

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