RF engineers who have been at their trade long enough will remember a time when most calculations were performed by hand. Availability of handheld calculators from Hewlett-Packard Co. and Texas Instruments helped speed and simplify those calculations, and then the emergence of circuit-simulation software completely changed the way high-frequency designs were developed. Along the way, electromagnetic (EM) simulation software appeared, at first like so many university projects, but eventually as proven commercial products.

The list of commercial EM simulation software suppliers is now a long one, with these tools being applied to a wide range of circuit design problems and beyond. EM simulation tools come in many shapes and sizes, from full-fledged, full-wave three-dimensional modelers to smaller-scale planar simulators for predicting the behavior of EM fields in two or two-and-a-half dimensions. In fact, most high-frequency software design suites now bundle or offer as an option EM simulation tools that can be used in conjunction with high-speed SPICE or linear/nonlinear circuit simulators.

If you need an update on today's available EM simulation software products, be sure to read the April issue of Microwaves & RF either in print or online at www.mwrf.com. A Special Report on EM simulators will get you caught up quickly and easily.