CODE V optical design software is a computer aided design software used to model, analyze, optimize, and provide fabrication support for the development of optical systems for diverse applications. This optical ray tracing software provides a powerful and yet easy-to-use toolkit of optical techniques and calculations that enables you to create superior designs that will work right when built. 

What's New in CODE V

CODE V includes new solutions to increase optical engineering productivity, support cost-to-manufacture savings, and give reliable results in less time. 

Key Features

CODE V has a vast array of technical, graphical, and ease-of-use features that makes it the lens design software of choice for developing superior imaging optics. The following list of key features is just a small subset of what is available.

  • Design optimization (including Global Synthesis) that speeds time to market
  • Fast, accurate tolerancing for superior fabrication support
  • Accurate, groundbreaking beam propagation analysis
  • Extensive built-in libraries of optical system models (patents, etc.), components, and optical glasses
  • Comprehensive graphics capabilities (pictures, data plots, shaded displays), including 3D visualizations and diffraction-based image simulations
  • Non-sequential surface modeling for unusual systems
  • Fast 2D image simulation to visualize optical system performance
  • Read more features
  • View applications

Helpful Resources

The Future of Freeform Optics Starts with Synopsys

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What Customers Are Saying

“CODE V is an incredibly helpful tool for designing professional, high-end optics. The optimization routines are unbeatable, especially for our complex lenses with many individual optical elements. Furthermore, the solutions with CODE V’s Global Synthesis optimization lead to high-performance systems. CODE V is one of the enabling technologies that allows NWS instruments to offer imaging tools for experts.”

--Dr. Christoph Horneber, Co-Founder and Director of Optical Design, NWS Instruments AG

“CODE V’s CAD visualization feature has proven to be a useful tool for viewing multiple subsystems simultaneously, as well as for comparing my current optical layout to that of a previous revision. It has allowed me to visualize the system throughout the design process before exporting the final optical model to CAD software. I have also used the feature to import CAD models for catalog optical mounting components, making it possible to efficiently refine a compact optical layout while avoiding interferences between mounts.”

--Dr. Anthony Vella, Optical Engineer, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

“As an optical design and engineering firm that specializes in custom precision systems, we are continuously challenged with new and demanding projects. We appreciate new features in CODE V that help us analyze, optimize, and tolerance optical systems to get into production quickly. The View Apertures (VAP) feature has been helpful in analyzing non-rotationally symmetric systems with complex apertures in both imaging and beam shaping. VAP has also been very helpful for communications between our optics and mechanics teams, as well as with our customers and suppliers.”

--Andrés Cifuentes, Chief Executive Officer, ASE Optics Europe

We rely on the speed, stability and flexibility of CODE V's optimization capabilities to develop sophisticated optical systems. With its global optimization features, its ability to control constraints exactly, and an interface that allows us to set up user-defined merit functions quickly and easily, CODE V gives us ultimate design freedom."

--Russ Hudyma, Managing Partner, Hyperion Development LLC

CODE V is essential for our lens design work at Nikon Research Corporation of America. We often require extraordinary correction with many surfaces, and several very high-order aspheres, resulting in too many variables for typical lens design optimization. CODE V’s optimization tools, such as Global Synthesis and Glass Expert, make it possible to successfully design such systems."

Dan Smith, Ph.D.


Director of Optical Sciences and Technology

“The CODE V Image Simulation feature provides a convenient method for evaluating optical systems that are used in unconventional imaging environments, such as automotive surround, 3D (stereo) imaging or hyper-hemispheric imaging. We have used these tools to develop hyper-hemispheric designs and have found them to be effective in evaluating synthetic target imagery. Rather than relying on MTF and PSF plots, the diffraction-based Image Simulation helps bridge the gap between perception and engineering metrics for our clients."

--Dr. John Tamkin, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer, Imaging Insights LLC

Leading Optical Design Innovation for Over 40 Years

Resources for Current Customers