Acknowledgement: This software release is made possible with the funding support from the NIH/NIGMS under grant R01-GM114365.
After nearly 10 years continuous development, it is our great pleasure to announce that MCX 1.0 (v2018) has finally arrived! This release represents an important milestone for the MCX project, and signifies that MCX has grown from a unique research idea to become a mature, robust, full-featured, and general purpose Monte Carlo simulation platform that empowers thousands of biophotonics researchers around the globe to explore, to teach and to create. This also marks the start of a wonderful new journey where many exciting new ideas, methods, features await ahead.
As of today, our combined registered MCX and MMC user number (with unique emails) has exceeded 1,500, with people coming from every corner of the world. The total download number in the past 7 years has exceeded 22,500 from our Sourceforge site alone. There are over 780 academic publications cited our works, and more than 1,200 questions/replies were received in our mailing lists, subscribed by over 250 active users. We are proud of these achievements and feel deeply honored to contribute, even in a small way, to many ongoing exciting new research, and are committed to continue dedicating our efforts in maintaining and improving our software. We will continue working with every one of you, addressing your concerns and new feature requests, bringing the latest and fastest software to you with transparency and openness.
Today, we celebrate MCX 1.0, we thank all the hard-works from the developers' team, particularly those PhD students who had made MCX a fast and better software - Fanny Nina-Paravecino, Leiming Yu, Ruoyang Yao, Yaoshen Yuan, and Shijie Yan, as well as the continual support and guidance from collaborators, Dr. David Kaeli and Dr. Xavier Intes. We also thank all the valuable feedback received from our users, your bug reports and constructive discussions are crucial for us to improve our software. Last, but not the least, we thank NIH/NIGMS for funding this endeavor. It is not possible for us to get where we are today without this support.
Today, we also kickoff the new development cycle for MCX 2.0! We will continue accelerating our software by taking advantage of emerging GPU architectures, new hardware resources and algorithm optimizations, in the meantime, focusing on usability and broader dissemination.
Monte Carlo eXtreme, or MCX, is an ultra-fast Monte Carlo light transport simulator for arbitrary 3D random media. It uses Graphics Processing Units (GPU) to run thousands of photons simultaneously, and is typically hundreds or thousands times faster than a single-threaded CPU-based simulation.
This release fully supports all major NVIDIA GPU architectures ranging from Fermi, Kepler, Maxwell, Pascal, and Volta, as well as future generations. The speed comparisons between different generations of NVIDIA GPUs can be found at
MCX v2018 (code named "Dark Matter") contains numerous improvements developed over the past 13 months, including a long list of new features and bug fixes. If you are currently using a previous release, you are urged to upgrade immediately to avoid using incorrect results.
In this new release, the most notable update is an easy-to-download, ready-to-use all-in-one MCXStudio package that combines all MC modeling tools we have developed, including MCX, MMC, MCX-CL, MCXLAB, MMCLAB and MCXLAB-CL. All modules are cleanly organized, fully tested and integrated, and can be called individually from the command line, via mcxstudio GUI or inside MATLAB/Octave. A unified package makes distributing and setting up MCX and associated software easier for a first-time user.
The cross-platform graphical user interface, mcxstudio, as part of the MCXStudio package, also received numerous updates, and was forged over the past year as a result of two MCX Training Workshops (MCX'17 and MCX-OSA'18). This GUI program has served our main tool for training users, and was heavily tested before and during the workshops. The GUI program unified the input parameters of all supported modules (MCX, MMC, MCX-CL) and added built-in domain visualization tool and volume rendering scripts (via MATLAB/Octave). Video tutorials of this tool can be browsed at the below link
Three critical bugs have been fixed -
All three bugs have broad impact and all users are recommended to upgrade immediately to avoid using erroneous simulations.
Please visit our wiki website (http://mcx.space/wiki/) for more detailed documentation, demos and tutorials.
Compared to the previous release (version v2017.7, released in July 2017), MCX v2018 gains the following new features and bug fixes:
In the meantime, a number of critical bugs were fixed:
Pre-compiled MCX are provided for Windows (64 bit), Linux (64bit) and Mac OS (64bit). In the case of MCXLAB, mex files for both Matlab and Octave on these platforms are provided. All binaries have been tested on Fermi, Kepler, Maxwell, Pascal and Volta GPUs.
All released binaries are compiled and linked with CUDA 7.5 (which is "embedded" into the binary) due to faster speed. All pre-compiled binaries are meant to be executable out-of-box.
The provided binaries require a Fermi (Compute Capability 2.0) or newer GPU. If you have an older GPU (CC 1.0 or 1.1), you will have to recompile mcx using "make fast".
To install MCX version v2018, you need
In this release, all precompiled binaries, including both mcx executables and mcxlab mex files, have built-in CUDA run-time libraries via static linking. Therefore, downloading/setting CUDA toolkit and the run-time librarie files (cudart.dll/libcudart.so/libcudart.dylib) are no longer needed.
However, if you run into CUDA errors, please first try to update your NVIDIA graphics driver to the latest version
If the latest graphics driver still can not solve the problem, please download the "developer driver" for your GPU. You may download the developer driver as part of the CUDA Toolkit installation package.