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In addition to its test and measurement releases, Agilent Technologies is announcing two software updates. Advanced Design System 2014 promises to improve design productivity and efficiency with new technologies and capabilities. With its 2014.05 release, for example, Genesys now tackles digitally modulated RF signals for circuit and system designs. Using Genesys 2014, the digitally modulated RF signals found in today’s consumer and defense wireless applications can supposedly be simulated in circuits and systems as easily as traditional analog RF signals can be simulated. Genesys 2014 also delivers system budget analysis of error-vector magnitude, bit-error rate, or adjacent-channel-power-ratio (ACPR) digital-modulation metrics for every component in the system block diagram. As a result, RF designers can identify any components causing digital performance failures.

Enhancements also can be seen in HFSS from ANSYS, which now includes linear circuit simulation as well as the RF and signal-integrity (SI) option packages. According to the company, these new features help users quickly identify potential design problems with increased flexibility. They also provide easier access to a complete set of analysis capabilities that can be leveraged throughout a high-frequency electromagnetic (EM) simulation flow.

With the addition of linear circuit analysis, HFSS allows engineers to design, simulate, and validate antennas, microwave components, and RF/microwave circuits. It also vows to tackle the challenges of antenna integration and system EMI on mobile devices. By adding the ANSYS RF option to HFSS, designers gain an RF simulation flow that offers the following: harmonic-balance circuit simulation for nonlinear microwave-circuit amplifier analysis; a 2.5D Method of Moments solver integrated in the HFSS 3D layout interface; and filter synthesis. This flow includes DC, transient, oscillator, load-pull, and envelope-circuit analysis engines.

Microwave Week Makes A Splash In Tampa Bay, Fig. 5

When HFSS is combined with the new ANSYS SI Option, the company claims that it is possible to analyze the signal-integrity, power-integrity, and EMI issues caused by shrinking timing and noise margins in PCBs, electronic packages, connectors, and other complex electronic interconnects. The SI option was created to help HFSS handle the complexity of modern interconnect design from die to die across ICs, packages, connectors, and PCBs. As is always the goal with such software, the objective is for engineers to be able to understand the performance of high-speed electronic products long before building a prototype in hardware. According to Matt Commens, product manager at ANSYS, “It’s becoming increasingly important for our customers to be able to quickly analyze their full electromagnetic system and to be able to include in their simulations both circuit-level components and the highly accurate models simulated by HFSS.

For its part, AWR Corp.—a National Instruments Company—is highlighting release V11 of its NI AWR Design Environment. With this release, the Analyst 3D front-end-module (FEM) EM simulator introduces new antenna measurement capabilities as well as a ready-built 3D parts library of microwave connectors, coils, packages, antennas, and more. It also provides user-configurable 3D PCells for custom-parts library creation. According to Sherry Hess, VP marketing at AWR, “AWR’s V11 release of the NI AWR Design Environment emphasizes our commitment to enabling our customers to spend more time focused on their design challenges and less time on driving the software. The Analyst ready-built 3D parts library is a prime example of this commitment.”

At the CST booth, the focus will be on the release of the 2014 version of the EM simulation tool, CST Studio Suite. This edition promises to raise solver performance while increasing hybrid simulation capabilities without compromising usability. Improving meshing also was a major focus during this release’s development. Both the hexahedral and tetrahedral mesh have been enhanced to reduce cell count and help to discretize complex or low-quality CAD data. The simulation of complex systems also has been improved.

In addition, field-source coupling and multiphysics simulations can be set up automatically using the new System Assembly and Modeling (SAM) wizards. SAM allows different solvers to be combined in a single simulation project. Alternatively, it can be used to model complex systems one component at a time. CST software also plays a role in the new offering from Delcross Technologies, Savant Version 4.0. Savant is a high-frequency electromagnetic (EM) software aimed at analyzing the performance of antennas when they are installed on electrically large vehicles and platforms. In Savant Version 4, Delcross has teamed with CST to provide integration between the full-wave 3D EM solvers in CST Microwave Studio 2014 and the asymptotic EM solver in Savant V4. As a result, antenna designers can model and optimize an isolated antenna in CST MWS. They can then use the full-wave result in Savant to efficiently analyze the antenna’s performance when mounted on a vehicle, which may be thousands of wavelengths in size.

In addition, Delcross has added a uniform theory of diffraction (UTD) edge-diffraction ray capability to the Savant solver. It enhances the far-field analysis accuracy in directions that are shaded from direct illumination by the antenna. Multiple, complex platform CAD models also can be imported into Savant V4 or combined into subassemblies, which may be independently rotated or translated.

Another software partnership can be seen in Sonnet Software’s Blink. This multi-solver passive-device modeling suite operates entirely from within the Cadence Virtuoso environment. The multi-solver uses Sonnet’s traditional shielded Method of Moments (MoM) solver as well as a new fast solver. The new solver uses advanced algorithms to accelerate the device modeling process. As a result, the company claims that users can quickly characterize spiral inductors, baluns, transformers, MIM capacitors, interdigitated capacitors, and transmission lines for RF-integrated-circuit (RFIC) and mixed-signal-IC design.

Both solvers also operate with PDK-specific stackups, which can be customized for a specific implementation.

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