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AWR software helps Micran design a complex space-qualified X-Band MMIC

AWR software helps Micran design a complex space-qualified X-Band MMIC

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By eeNews Europe



NI AWR software was chosen because the designers needed to be able to implement different types of circuit analysis (linear, nonlinear, EM) in an easy-to-use interface in order to successfully solve design problems and ensure a high design productivity rate.

The design of multifunctional MMICs like frequency converters, vector modulators, and amplitude/phase control circuits for transmit/receive modules (T/R) is quite a difficult task. When designing the X-band amplitude/phase control MMIC, it was critical that the design software include reliable models for a MMIC technological process, enable users to implement different types of circuit analysis (linear, nonlinear, EM), and have an easy-to-use interface in order to successfully solve design problems and ensure a high design productivity rate.

The linear and nonlinear (harmonic balance) simulators in Microwave Office circuit design software were used for the core chip MMIC design. Harmonic balance (HB) was used for the calculation of nonlinear circuit parameters, including output power P1dB in the RX/TX mode, current consumptions, output voltages of the control logic, and more. HB was also used for a bit-by-bit checking of the attenuator, phase shifter, and switches to confirm that all control lines were correctly connected to switch elements. This approach enabled the designers to successfully design this complex MMIC after a single manufacturing iteration. The goal of the second iteration was to decrease the RMS phase error for the phase shifter included in the core chip.


Micran chose NI AWR Design Environment because of its sophisticated and fast linear and nonlinear simulators combined with its ease of use and availability of models. Especially useful was the Microwave Office automatic update of the topological circuit representation in the layout editor in accordance with any changes of the circuit in the schematic editor and vice versa. Also important was the fast simulation speed for multibit circuits (attenuator and a phase shifter) included in the core chip MMIC and the availability of built-in functions that enabled the designers to calculate the absolute and RMS errors of amplitude/phase states.

"The use of NI AWR Design Environment software enabled our designers to concentrate on reaching the required technical parameters for designing space-qualified X-band MMIC. In particular, Microwave Office software, with its comprehensive simulators, proved to be an ideal choice for our team to succeed in challenging MMIC designs, remarked Aleksey Kondratenko, Chief of MMIC Design Group Micran.

www.micran.com

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