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Acceleware's Cluster Solution Technology Adopted by Kodak

Acceleware® Corp., a developer of high performance computing applications, announced that Kodak, a leader in image sensor technology, has adopted Acceleware’s Cluster Solution to accelerate the design process for optoelectronic image sensors.

“Acceleware’s cluster solution helps enable Kodak to develop market-leading, high-performance image sensor products for consumer, professional and advanced applications,” said Herb Erhardt, manager of the CMOS Sensors business unit at Kodak. “We have already seen significant productivity improvements that amount to greater than 10x.”

Kodak is using Acceleware’s cluster technology in conjunction with Synopsys’ TCAD Sentaurus Device EMW to design advanced image sensors with improved ultra-low-light performance, faster video and that are more easily manufactured. Acceleware’s cluster solution enables companies to significantly reduce design cycle times when investigating pixel array performance including analysis of optical crosstalk for normal and oblique incidence light. Characterizing pixel performance due to manufacturing tolerances such as lens misalignment was previously impractical without fast simulations; however, this is now easily accomplished with Acceleware’s highly optimized solution. “We have obtained good correlation between simulated results from the Acceleware solution and our measured results,” said Michael Guidash, manager of CMOS sensor advanced development at Kodak.

“Acceleware’s cluster technology enables companies to shorten the path from initial concept to robust design, and decrease time-to-market for high performance products,” said Michal Okoniewski, Acceleware’s interim president and chief executive officer. “We’re happy that Kodak recognizes the value in the solution offered by Acceleware and Synopsys.”

As active pixel sensors shrink in size, their dimensions are nearing the wavelength of visible light, where diffraction, polarization and interference effects become increasingly important. Although these effects can be analyzed using full-wave electromagnetic simulations such as the Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) method, the FDTD algorithm is inherently compute-intensive. Realistic simulations of modern image sensor arrays could take many hours to days of computational time to complete. Acceleware’s technology enables high-speed parallel processing of the FDTD algorithm on clusters of GPUs, which reduces computation time for these simulations from days to a few hours or less.

Adoption of Acceleware’s HPC Cluster Solution for FDTD demonstrates that heterogeneous computing, using Graphic Processing Units (GPU) and Central Processing Units (CPU) is rapidly gaining acceptance and favour over traditional CPU clusters for computationally intensive electromagnetic calculations.

”Image Sensor design has become very complex, and full-wave electromagnetic simulations are now essential for the design and optimization of these products. Kodak’s adoption of Acceleware’s Cluster Technology is an important validation of the combined hardware and software solution offered by Acceleware and Synopsys to speed up these critical simulations,” said Ricardo Borges, senior product marketing manager for TCAD at Synopsys.

Acceleware’s Cluster Technology decreases simulation time of optoelectronic design by up to 30 times versus a multi-threaded solver. This solution enables optimization of sophisticated designs using highly complex physics-based simulation tools in a realistic, practical time-frame.

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