Electronic-design-automation (EDA) software tools have become the voltmeter and the slide rule to the modern high-frequency engineer. But unlike those two hardware tools, software can be updated for improved performance, as is the case in recent releases from Applied Wave Research for Version 2009 of the firm's widely used Microwave Office design environment and Version 2009 of the Visual System Simulator (VSS) software tools. Both new software versions feature broad changes to the graphical user interface (GUI) for added flexibility and greater ease of use.

For example, the design environment in Version 2009 of the Microwave Office design environment is completely configurable to meet a user's individual preferences, with features such as projects, elements, layout tabs, and the status window fully dockable and floatable on the display screen. The software suite has over 100 enhancements, including an interface to the ICED integrated-circuit (IC) design/verification software in addition to the existing interface to the Calibre IC design tool from Mentor Graphics. Version 2009 also has improvements to the EM Socket for seamless plug and play with third-party EM tools as well as to AWR's own ACE and AXIEM technologies.

Additional enhancements to Version 2009 of Microwave Office include improvements to the automatic-circuit-extraction (ACE) tool; support for APLAC harmonic-balance simulators and optional time-domain simulators; and the availability (as an option) of AXIEM planar three-dimensional (3D) electromagnetic (EM) analysis.

The company also announced new features and capabilities in Version 2009 of the VSS software suite. Version 2009 of VSS allows toolbars to be floated or docked along any edge of the main window. The menus in VSS have been enhanced to include icons on every toolbar, along with a thematic highlighting style. The VSS software suite features greater capabilities in its RF Budget Analysis and RF Inspector tools. It also offers added measurements, including improved thermal modeling. As part of its seamless co-simulation with Version 2009 of AWR's Microwave Office design suite, Version 2009 of VSS offers an interface to the APLAC harmonic-balance simulators (with an option to interface with APLAC timedomain simulators). For more information, visit the firm's web site. Applied Wave Research, 1960 East Grand Ave., Ste. 430, El Segundo, CA 90245; (310) 726-3000, Internet: www.awrcorp.com.