Photonic Solutions Enewsletter

Announcing OptoCompiler: Industry-First Unified Electronic and Photonic Design Platform

We are pleased to announce the Synopsys OptoCompiler™ solution for photonic integrated circuit (PIC) design, layout implementation, and verification. OptoCompiler is the industry’s first unified electronic and photonic design platform, combining mature and dedicated photonic technology with Synopsys’ industry-proven electronic design tools and methods to enable engineers to produce and verify complex PIC designs quickly and accurately. By providing schematic-driven layout and advanced photonic layout synthesis in a single platform, OptoCompiler bridges the gap between photonic experts and IC designers to make photonic design accessible, fast, and flexible.

Please contact the Photonic Solutions team for more information:

New RSoft Photonic Device Tools, Photonic System Tools, and PIC Design Suite Releases Now Available

We are pleased to announce the availability of version 2020.09 of our comprehensive Photonic Solutions portfolio, which includes the RSoft Photonic Device Tools, Photonic System Tools, and the PIC Design Suite.

RSoft Photonic Device Tools Device Tools Version 2020.09

  • Custom PDK Utility for OptoCompiler

    In addition to generating Custom PDK components for the PIC Design Suite, the Custom PDK Utility can now generate PDK components for the new OptoCompiler platform.  From a single source definition, the utility: performs simulations using any of the wide range of Synopsys photonic device tools to generate compact model data; generates interface elements for schematic capture and circuit simulation in OptoCompiler via the OptSim Circuit engine; generates interface elements for layout in OptoCompiler utilizing the OptoDesigner layout engine. The Custom PDK Utility for OptoCompiler creates all the necessary files in a single folder, which can be directly dropped into an OptoCompiler PDK library and is immediately available for use in this powerful new photonic design flow. 

  • Improvements to RSoft CAD

    Enabled material-based color coding. To view a complex structure easily and clearly, components can be sorted and displayed in different colors based on their material composition. Predefined library materials come with a default colors that can be customized by changing their RGB values. 

  • Component filtering capability

    Components can now be filtered and grouped based on their materials, structure type, merge priority, color, etc. This feature allows you to select and edit wanted components more easily, especially for a structure with a large number of components.

  • Overlaid mesh over index profile

    This option provides a clear view on how computation grids are distributed and aligned with the structure. You can adjust the mesh settings to meet your requirements. In addition, the index viewer allows you to zoom in and out by pointing, clicking, and dragging the mouse.

  • Cross-platform optimization of diffractive grating through parametric BSDF

    Through the User-Defined Optical Property (UDOP) interface, design parameters in RSoft CAD can be optimized in LightTools against a target function using the pre-calculated parametric BSDF. For instance, LightTools can optimize diffractive gratings designed in the RSoft Photonic Device Tools to achieve uniform display in AR/VR applications.  

  • Improvements to FullWAVE

    • Material-based absorption monitors. Absorption monitors can now be tagged to calculate absorption in a specific material or a group of materials. The absorption by different materials comingled with each other can now be calculated in a single simulation. 

    • Efficient multi-dimensional domain cut for clustered FullWAVE. With a large number of cluster nodes, the multi-dimensional cut ensures a minimum cutting area, reduces the amount of transferred data, and maximizes computational efficiency. The initial test on a 72-nodes computer shows the speed increase is significant and the increase will be more for larger problems with more cluster nodes. 

    • New 3D index viewer. The new 3D index viewer allows you to dynamically view the index for any cut direction and cut position without having to regenerate the index profile.  In addition, you can overlay the mesh with the structure as well as zoom into relevant sections.

For more information, please see the release notes on the Customer Support Portal.

Photonic System Tools Version 2020.09

OptSim and ModeSYS

In today’s ever-shrinking product development cycles, rapid technological advances often pose a challenge to the need for shorter times-to-market. To help strike a balance between technology learning curves and rapid prototyping, the following new application notes are available in version 2020.09. The application notes enhance productivity with complete design files and documentation that serve as excellent starting points to manufacturable solutions.

  • New application note: Polarization-Switched QPSK (PS-QPSK): Implementing a PS-QPSK (HEXA) Transmitter

Increasing traffic demands have pushed boundaries of spectral efficiency by way of moving from binary intensity modulation to multi-symbol phase modulation and using both polarization of the light source. As a result, various ways of encoding information in four-dimensional (4D) constellation have emerged. PS-QPSK is one of them. PS-QPSK was thought of as a fallback option for a PM-QPSK system where in case of any fault or degradation in PM-QPSK, the system can operate as PS-QPSK at 25% less capacity

Market: Long-haul fiber-optic telecom systems

  • New application note: Time-of-Flight (ToF) Resolution and Measurement from Received RF Spectra in Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) Applications

Swept frequency light source based time-of-flight (ToF) principles are used in LiDAR applications in automotive cruise control (ACC) and automotive collision avoidance systems (ACAS) as well as in swept source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT). The application note focuses on considerations for resolution sensitivity and measurement of time of flight from the detected radio-frequency (RF) spectral tones.

Markets: Sensors, Automotive

  • New application note: 25GBASE-SR: Migration Path for 100m MMF Data Links from 10G/40G to 25G/100G over NRZ

25GBASE-SR is an IEEE Ethernet standard that provides an upgrade path from 10G/40G to 25G/100G migration in response to rapidly increasing bandwidth demand while still using cost-effective multimode fiber-based, NRZ transmission. The core idea is to use a single-lane with 25G NRZ direct modulation over OM-3 and OM-4 multimode fibers that can be scaled up with number of lanes when needed. The bandwidth-distance product can be further improved by use of Reed-Solomon Forward-Error Correction (RS FEC) coding technique.

Markets: Enterprise Data Centers and Cloud Environments

For more information, please see the release notes on the Customer Support Portal.

PIC Design Suite Version 2020.09

OptSim Circuit

  • Linear Time Invariant (LTI) solution for photonic circuits


The majority of elements in high-density photonic integrated circuits are linear, time-invariant passive components that can be completely described by their transfer matrix. Solving each of those models in time-domain can lead to time-consuming circuit simulation. The LTI circuit solution is a faster way of solving circuits with LTI components to obtain time-domain output.

  • Enhancement to bidirectional multiport model
    One of the most common uses of this model is to characterize a passive photonic device in terms of its S-Matrix. The model has been enhanced to accept a transfer matrix data file with advanced options such as choice of interpolation, phase wrapping, and wavelength grouping. The new format is called TranferMatrix5. The model maintains backward compatibility with previous transfer matrix data file formats.

  • New application note: TW-MZM Active Photonic Isolator

Optical isolators help block unwanted optical signals and prevent undesired effects on photonic circuits. It is a challenge to design an isolator integrates easily with silicon and provides good isolation. Implementations using nonlinear optical elements come with  undesired, power-related side effects, while some active isolator implementations haven’t successfully achieved higher degrees of isolation. In this application note, we demonstrate a design of an active isolator that uses traditional TW-MZM.

Market: Photonic Integrated Circuits

For more information, please see the release notes on the Customer Support Portal.

Important Notice: Photonic Solutions Software Support for Windows 7 and Legacy Linux Versions Discontinued

Photonic Solutions products version 2020.09 do not officially support Windows 7 and RedHat/CentOS 6.5 or older. This includes the RSoft Photonics Device Tools, Photonic System Tools, and the PIC Design Suite. For Linux, there is no support for Linux versions with a kernel older than 2.6.32-504 and glibc older than 2.12; you can find the glibc version of your system by running the command "ldd --version" in a terminal; the kernel version can be found via the command "uname -r".

Software and License Download Instructions

Direct-Sales Customers

Software and license key files for customers are available on the Synopsys SolvNetPlus website. If you need assistance accessing SolvNetPlus or obtaining the software and license codes, please contact

International Customers

Some of our customers will obtain the software and license key files from their local software distributor. See the Synopsys Optical Solutions Group Global Contacts page for contact information. If your country is not listed on the Distributors page referenced above, please contact us at

On-Demand Resources

See our latest on-demand resources to optimize your use of our product portfolio.

Explore Synopsys’ photonic design flow with our online demo miniseries, now available on YouTube. These quick presentations highlight Synopsys’ latest design features in our Photonic Solutions platform. Watch the following videos at your convenience:

Customer Support Portal

Current customers can access RSoft Photonic Device Tools, Photonic System Tools, and PIC Design Suite resources and content at any time on the Customer Support Portal (

If you haven’t already registered for Portal access, consider registering for an account today!

Once your account is activated, an e-mail will be sent to you to confirm your login information. 

Visit the Customer Support Portal

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Calendar of Events

PIC International 2020
November 17 - 18, 2020
Sheraton Brussels Airport Hotel, Brussels, Belgium

Register here


ECOC 2020
December 6 - 10, 2020
Brussels Expo, Brussels, Belgium

Register here


For a complete list, please go to our Events Page.

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