It has been noted that software is steadily growing in the microwave industry. Aside from eliminating or simplifying design steps, it is helping engineers more easily drill down into various aspects of their design. For example, a new version of the LINC2 Pro RF and microwave design and simulation software suite from Applied Computational Sciences LLC (ACS) allows the user to find and track the frequency point at which the maximum value of a circuit response occurs or track the frequency of oscillation for an oscillator relative to the value of a variable parameter or circuit component value.
According to Dale Henkes, President and Owner of ACS, "User-defined equations can be placed within a LINC2 schematic to give the user more control over circuit simulation and optimization. For example, an equation that defines the voltage to capacitance transfer function of a tuning diode can be placed in the schematic of a voltage-controlled-oscillator (VCO) circuit. The equation for the varactor diode can then be made part of the simulation and plotted on the same graph as a plot of VCO output frequency versus VCO DC voltage control. Thus, the performance of the VCO's varactor diode can be directly related graphically to the tuning performance of the overall VCO." The software also allows users to automatically synthesize all types of circuits in both single-ended or differential topologies.