What is FRED?

FRED Optical Engineering Software is a globally recognized optomechanical raytracing software used by companies, government, and universities in the development of optical systems used for straylight analysis, laser systems, LED / illumination system design and imaging systems. FRED was designed to be a general purpose ray-tracing tool, featuring an intuitive CAD-style user interface that simplifies the handling of optomechanical models of varying complexity. Moreover, it boasts the capability to propagate both coherent and incoherent light while allowing for the realistic assignment of surface properties to each constituent element within a system. This comprehensive approach ensures ease of use and accuracy in optical system simulations

Get Answers

Feature Overview

  • GPU raytrace - over 100x faster than multi-threaded CPU raytrace calculations
  • 3D graphical interface for model rendering, construction and verification
  • Import lens data from lens design software such as Zemax, CODE V, OSLO
  • Import lens data from lens design software such as Zemax, CODE V, OSLO
  • Non-sequential and sequential ray tracing
  • Latest catalog data (glasses, optical components, etc.)
  • Coherent Beam propagation (laser, interference, diffraction, polarisation)
  • Multivariable optimiser
  • Tolerancing analysis
  • Multithreading using up to 63 threads
  • Distributed calculation function on unlimited PCs
  • Built-in BASIC Scripting


Email us
Stray Light Analysis

  • Imaging systems, Cameras, Astronomical Telescopes
  • Ghosts, Flares
  • Optomechanical Modeling
  • Scatter
  • Surface Roughness / Contamination
  • UV to long-wave IR
  • Thermal self-emission analysis

Illumination Design

  • Lightpipe design
  • Freeform optics
  • LED Display
  • Projectors
  • Fluorescence

Optical Instrument Design

  • Interferometers
  • Spectrometers
  • Diffractometers
  • Sensors
  • Solar Concentrators

Laser Systems

  • Fiber Coupling
  • Wavefront Correctors
  • Polarisation converters
  • Laser line generator


  • Heads Up Display System
  • LiDAR
  • Infrared Camera


  • Human Tissue / Skin scatter
  • Endoscopes
  • Human Eye Models


Comprehensive Optical Design

FRED provides a complete suite of tools for designing and analyzing complex optical systems. It allows engineers to optimize designs for performance and efficiency.

Ray Tracing and Optical Analysis

FRED utilizes advanced ray tracing techniques to simulate the propagation of light through optical systems accurately. Allows users to analyze various optical properties, such as beam propagation, image quality, polarization effects, and more. 

Versatility and Flexibility

FRED is a versatile software for diverse optical applications. Used in imaging, aerospace, lasers, illumination design, and more. Supports sequential and non-sequential ray tracing for various configurations.

Advanced Simulation Capabilities

FRED offers advanced ray tracing and wavefront analysis, enabling engineers to accurately simulate and visualize light propagation in their optical systems. This helps in identifying and resolving potential issues before manufacturing.

Time Efficiency

FRED's intuitive interface and efficient algorithms enable engineers to quickly iterate through design variations, saving time in the design process and accelerating the development timeline.

Training and Support

Comprehensive training resources and dedicated customer support is available so that users have access to the knowledge and assistance needed to maximize their productivity and proficiency with the software. 

FRED Standard

FRED standard equips users with essential capabilities to propagate both coherent and incoherent light within opto-mechanical systems, along with the flexibility to assign authentic surface and material properties to every system component.

FRED stands as a robust software solution with diverse applications, including but not limited to stray light analysis, laser applications, illumination, non-imaging optics, multi-wavelength systems, and a multitude of other optical engineering tasks.

Request a Demo
Get Answers
Get Answers

FRED Optimum

FRED Optimum builds upon the foundation of FRED Standard, offering enhanced capabilities tailored for the analysis of intricate opto-mechanical systems. With multi-threaded raytrace that can run on up to 127 cores, FRED Optimum ensures rapid and accurate simulations. Moreover, it introduces distributed computing capabilities, allowing calculations to be seamlessly shared across a distributed network of computers, enhancing computational efficiency.

Additionally, FRED Optimum features a versatile multi-variable optimizer equipped with various local and pseudo-global algorithms, enabling users to fine-tune optical designs for optimal performance. It also offers tools for parameter sensitivity analysis, a comprehensive system configurations manager, and parameter pickups to streamline design exploration. FRED Optimum is the ultimate choice for those seeking comprehensive and advanced optical engineering capabilities.

Request a Demo

FRED mpc

The latest version of FRED - FREDmpc is a general-purpose optical engineering software that performs the raytrace using GPUs. Calculation speeds of FREDmpc can be over 100 times faster than conventional CPU based raytracing! FREDmpc also excels in comprehensive raypath reporting for precise stray light analysis. Furthermore, you have the flexibility to boost performance by stacking GPUs or utilizing distributed calculations, granting you access to virtually limitless computing power. Whether you're designing cutting-edge optical devices or exploring innovative optical-mechanical interactions, FREDmpc empowers you to speed up product development and reach your market faster.

Request a Demo

FRED  Userbase

FRED is used in companies, universities and research laboratories worldwide.
Below is a list of some of these who have published papers related to FRED.

About Photon Engineering

Founded in 1997 Photon Engineering is an optical engineering software and consulting firm, and are the creators of industry-leading raytracing software FRED.

CBS Europe is the exclusive distributor of FRED in Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Austria.