VPIphotonics Design Suite™ – New version 10.0!

VPIphotonics Design Suite Version 10.0 provides access to professional application-specific simulation tools and several pluggable toolkit extensions with common usability, design process and data analysis capabilities.

Version 10.0 offers enhancements of the user interface and tools operation and many advances in simulation capabilities, including new functionalities and analysis tools for coherent mQAM, direct-detection PAM-M, multimode transmission systems, DSP and coding, and much more.

VPIphotonics' software solutions are leveraged by numerous commercial companies and educational institutions around the world, to boost product development and successfully perform a diversity of research and design projects. With the improved capabilities provided in Version 10.0, VPIphotonics Design Suite not only offers enhanced support for its existing applications and markets, but even addresses new ones

Photonic Design Environment (PDE) of Version 10.0
Photonic Design Environment (PDE) of Version 10.0

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Among the new features of version 10.0 are

  • Probabilistically-shaped (PS) QAM with FEC – New module allows combining LDPC codes with PS square M-QAM to design capacity-approaching transmission systems.

  • Arbitrary geometric & probabilistic shaping – New module that can generate arbitrary QAM formats, for which any user-defined PDF can be applied on the constellation amplitudes.

  • (Generalized) Mutual Information – The performance of coherent formats can now be estimated in terms of the (G)MI.

  • Digital subcarrier multiplexing – New DSCM Tx module with any number of subcarriers and variable bit-loading; illustration of 200G DSCM transmission over 750 km.

  • Enhanced Gaussian Noise (EGN) model – New module that calculates the nonlinear interference noise power according to the EGN model.

  • Quantum Communications – New application example of Gaussian continuous-variable quantum key distribution (CV-QKD) using weak coherent states in the prepare-and-measure scheme.


  • Multi-level systems – New macro that automatically generates the required parameters for multi-level PAM and QAM simulations.

  • Kramers-Kronig receiver – New example showcasing Kramers-Kronig scheme and detection of coherent formats with a single photodiode.

  • Universal normalizer – New DSP function for automated normalization of PAM and QAM signals.

  • Performance of PAM signals – Improved error rate estimation module to output sampled Rx PAM signal, optimum decision thresholds, detected levels, symbols and bits.

  • Experimental PAM signals – Illustration of how to import and assess the performance of experimentally-obtained PAM signals.


  • Multimode fiber accuracy – A more accurate method for taking into account the spectral dependence of the refractive index profile.

  • Multimode fibers – Updated macro and module parameters for simulating type A1a fibers with alpha-parameterized refractive index profile providing the highest effective modal bandwidth.

  • Realistic OM3 and OM4 profiles – Hundreds of refractive index profiles with various defects; illustration of statistical simulations of realistic OM3 and OM4 fibers in short-reach applications.

  • Multimode fiber characterization – Illustration of testing methods of the DMD, effective modal and overfilled bandwidth of multimode fibers according to IEC 60793-1-41/49 specifications.


  • Multimode VCSEL – Several enhancements: arbitrary radial and angular current injection profiles; simple basic equivalent electrical circuit; intermodal gain compression in the nonlinear gain model; internal numerical integration time step independent of sample rate.

  • Encircled flux measurement – New module and illustration of how to measure the Encircled Flux characteristic of a Tx according to the IEC 61280 -1-4 spec's, and test whether it is standard-compliant.

  • Free space multimode coupling – New module that simulates free space coupling between multimode components (e.g., VCSEL, fiber) with lateral offset and angular misalignment; visualization and export of total and modal intensity distributions in the near and far field.

  • 25Gbd PAM4 with multimode VCSEL – New application illustrating a short-reach 25Gbd PAM4 transmission with a multimode VCSEL model, free-space coupler, and OM4 fiber.

  • Digital pre-distortion – New application showing how to derive and apply FIR filters for pre-equalization of a transmitter's frequency response.

  • Digital Back Propagation – New applications showing how DBP can be applied in long-haul transmission systems to compensate for fiber nonlinearity.

  • Stokes space polarization demux – New DSP algorithm for polarization alignment of dual-polarization QAM signals; can also display DP signals in 3D Stokes space.

  • Time-domain MIMO equalizer – The equalizer filter coefficients can be optionally saved to and read from file.

  • Clock phase recovery – New square timing DSP algorithm to find the best sampling points of PAM and (DP) M-QAM signals, compensate for sampling clock frequency offsets.

  • Improved coherent DSP performance – Updates to several applications with more robust demodulation DSP operation.


  • Measured SOA model – New model of Semiconductor Optical Amplifiers that are characterized using experimentally measured gain spectra for various injection currents.

  • Directional coupler – Enhanced directional coupler model accounting for the wavelength-dependence of the coupling coefficient.

  • Time/Frequency domain automation – Enhanced macros for configuring simulations in the time or frequency domains to better support parameter expressions.

  • Simulation domain – Automatically switch to SMATRIX domain when possible to ensure most accurate and fastest simulation.


  • Multidimensional optimizations – Interactive Simulation Control provides two global and seven local optimization algorithms.

  • Spectrogram – New module for visualizing time-varying signal spectra; also illustrates how custom Matplotlib-based visualization modules can be created.

  • SignalAnalyzer Scope – For signals containing multiple frequency bands, the individual and total intensity waveforms can optionally be visualized in the Scope mode of SignalAnalyzer.


  • Stopping simulation – more precise control on interrupting simulations: forcibly aborted or gently stopped.

  • GUI with custom ribbons – create customized ribbon tabs and place there most frequently used commands and macros.

  • String array – new parameter type to conveniently handle lists of strings.

  • Graphic object links – assign URL or shell command to graphic objects.

  • Encryption – encrypt macros and Python modules used in simulation to protect intellectual property.

Many new demo examples have been added and existing ones modified to illustrate new functions and applications. Version 10.0 provides access to over 870 ready-to-run demo setups now.

Design Example – 25G PAM4 via MM-VCSEL over OM4 fiber with defects

25G VCSELs generating PAM4 signals have been accepted by the 400GBASE-SR4.2 standard as new means of increasing the capacity for short reach multimode transmission systems. These links use two different wavelengths for transmission: 850 nm for uplink and 910 nm for downlink.
This setup demonstrates simulation of the uplink using a multimode VCSEL model taking into account mode competition, modal noise, and other physical effects. Using a model for imperfect free-space coupling, its output is coupled into the graded-index multimode fiber with lateral offset and tilt. Then, transmission over 150m OM4 fiber with realistic defects of the transversal index profile is simulated, leading to limitations of the effective modal bandwidth. The impact on the Symbol Error Rate (SER) can be investigated, as a function of varying design parameters.

Setup and results for 25G PAM4 via MM-VCSEL over 150m OM4 fiber
Setup and results for 25G PAM4 via MM-VCSEL over 150m OM4 fiber

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