Synopsys’ LightTools 8.0 includes multi-CPU support

January 28, 2013  by  

Synopsys, Inc. announced the availability of version 8.0 of LightTools®, its 3D optical engineering and design software. LightTools supports virtual prototyping, simulation, optimization and photorealistic renderings of illumination applications.

Version 8.0 includes multi-CPU support, which dramatically improves the speed of lighting system simulations, according to the company. It also includes several new 3D objects, application-specific utilities, and enhancements to parametric controls – features that simplify the design of state-of-the-art lighting components.

“We’ve made LightTools even better with significantly faster performance as well as new and improved tools for building and visualizing illumination designs,” said George Bayz, vice president and general manager of Synopsys’ Optical Solutions Group. “These updates help pave the way for lighting engineers to design, manufacture and deploy their products faster and more cost effectively.”

Multi-CPU support

LightTools has been enhanced with a multi-threading capability that enables illumination simulation processes to take advantage of all CPUs or cores on a computer. The multi-CPU feature can dramatically improve the speed of simulations, analyses and design optimizations.

“The LightTools multi-CPU feature has yielded great results. On my latest project, simulation times with 1.5 million rays were reduced from 177 seconds to 41 seconds,” said Kris Young, opto-mechanical engineer at Konstant Products. “This is more than a 4X speed improvement that enables me to run hundreds of simulations at the beginning of a project and also allows for much more complex optimizations at the end of the project.”

New 3D Objects

To facilitate the creation of complex lighting components, LightTools introduces new types of 3D objects, including revolved sheets and solids, extruded sheets and solids and freeform sheets. These objects expand the range of shapes available for creating state-of-the-art illumination optics such as compact, freeform surfaces used in automotive headlights.

Source Array Utility

The LightTools Source Array Utility simplifies the construction of source arrays used for applications such as edge-lit displays and luminaires. It enables users to quickly and easily convert a given surface of a solid to an array of identical sources while requiring only a single source in the model.

Improvements to Parametric Controls

Improvements to LightTools’ parametric controls include new ways to move and group them. These enhancements help users more easily organize and manage elements that control the geometry, position and function of each component in a LightTools model.

Enhanced illuminance display in the 3D model

Additional tools are now available for visualizing the shape and orientation of a light source’s illuminance distribution with respect to model geometry. This includes the ability to display true color output in the LightTools 3D Design view, as well as the ability to concurrently display illuminance results for all surface receivers in a model, making it easier to compare results.

Availability & Resources

LightTools version 8.0 is available now. Customers with a current maintenance agreement can download this version from the Synopsys website using their SolvNet account. Learn more about LightTools at

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