Here’s a little bit about Lumerical’s (based in Vancouver, Canada) FDTD Solutions product,
Employing the industry proven finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method, FDTD Solutions empowers designers to confront the most challenging photonic design problems. Rapid prototyping and highly-accurate simulations reduce reliance upon costly experimental prototypes, leading to a quicker assessment of design concepts and reduced product development costs.
The July 5, 2012 announcement of the FDTD 8.0 release notes this,
Release 8.0 extends the material modeling capabilities of prior versions to include the ability to model liquid crystals and other spatially-varying anisotropic materials, and a Flexible Material Plugin (FMP) framework that enables researchers to model a wide variety of other materials, including nonlinear, magneto-optical, and saturable gain materials.
The new FMP framework enables researchers to describe via computer source code a material’s polarization and magnetization as a function of the electromagnetic field and other physical quantities. Release 8.0 is expected to contribute to the development of components in the fields of optical switching, integrated magneto-optical polarization control, quantum communications and silicon photonics owing to the wide array of nonlinear effects available in silicon.
“We’ve been in discussions with the nonlinear photonics community for years, working to understand their diverse interests and to develop a design environment that can accommodate their needs,”according to Dr. James Pond, Lumerical’s CTO. “With the release of FDTD Solutions 8.0, researchers can quickly write a few lines of code to incorporate a Kerr medium into their simulation, or painstakingly develop hundreds of lines of code to model a multi-level atomic system. Either way, when it comes to simulation, with FDTD Solutions 8.0 researchers can focus on developing sophisticated material models while relying on Lumerical for everything else.”
“As an existing user of Lumerical’s software, I am especially pleased by the new nonlinear optics capabilities available in FDTD Solutions 8.0,” according to Professor Robert Boyd of the University of Ottawa in Canada and the University of Rochester in the United States. “Much of my current research entails the design of photonic structures and devices for use in applications such as all-optical switching. The new capabilities of Lumerical will conveniently allow my group to treat both the linear and nonlinear properties of these structures using the same numerical platform.”
“Our team in the Electronics and Photonics Department is specialized in the area of computational electromagnetics for next-generation active devices in the fields of plasmonics, photonics and nanophotonics” according to Dr. E. P. Li, Department Director of Electronics and Photonics at the Institute for High Performance Computing in Singapore. “As pioneers in this field, we are interested to start integrating our existing material algorithms into Lumerical’s FDTD framework. We anticipate that this will make our advanced algorithms more accessible to a broad range of end users.”
There’s more on the FDTD Solutions product page including a video and a free 20-day download of the 8.0 release. (You can read the full July 5, 2012 news release here.)