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LightTools 8.0

Synopsys has announced the availability of version 8.0 of its LightTools illumination design software, which delivers multi-CPU support that improves the speed of lighting system simulations. With the addition of several new 3D objects, application specific utilities and enhancements to parametric controls, this version also provides features that simplify the design of state of the art lighting components.

Version 8.0 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 improve the speed of simulations, analyses and design optimisations.

‘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 four-times speed improvement that enables me to run hundreds of simulations at the beginning of a project and also allows for much more complex optimisations at the end of the project.’

To facilitate the creation of complex lighting components, LightTools has also introduced 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.

In addition to improvements to LightTools’ parametric controls, version 8.0 includes tools for visualising the shape and orientation of a light source’s illuminance distribution with respect to model geometry. This includes the ability to display true colour 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.


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