Microwave design and simulation software addresses higher frequencies
Keysight Technologies has introduced the new PathWave Advanced Design System (ADS) 2023, an integrated design and simulation software that rapidly addresses increasing design complexity and higher frequencies in the RF and microwave industry.
PathWave ADS 2023 includes enhancements to electromagnetic (EM) simulation for circuit designers. It also streamlines integration of multi-technology circuit assembly and simulation into enterprise electronic design automation (EDA) design workflows. PathWave ADS 2023 enables RF and Microwave product development teams to easily address signal complexity, design densification, multi-technology integration and frequencies moving to 60 GHz and beyond. As a result, customers can shorten time-to-market, improve engineering team productivity and deliver competitive design wins.
“PathWave ADS 2023 directly addresses the needs of customers developing multi-technology high speed, high-frequency designs,” said Joe Civello, director of RF and Microwave Simulation at Keysight. “This new software offers workflow and simulation performance improvements that accelerate the design and simulation process while delivering the analysis results necessary to ensure designs meet critical electrical and thermal performance requirements.”
Simulation performance enhancements in RFPro, the interactive EM simulator integrated with PathWave ADS, enable rapid design tuning and optimization. The new RFPro features include:
- Automation of EM-circuit co-simulation setup which ensures that analysis is easily accessible by circuit designers without the help of an EM expert or the need for invasive layout editing.
- Advanced EM solvers and meshing technologies are accessible via a single unified environment with parallelized simulation acceleration through cloud-based, high-performance computing (HPC) that supports fast, high-capacity simulation.
- Seamless integration with Cadence Virtuoso, Synopsys Custom Compiler and Ansys HFSS facilitates enterprise electronic design automation signoff workflows.
PathWave ADS 2023 development environment enhancements include automation of 3D multi-technology assembly (SmartMount) for routing and verification of densely integrated RF modules and enhanced management of design databases containing complex multi-technology structures to enable correct simulation setup and traceability of designs and simulation data. PathWave ADS 2023 also enables Python and Microsoft Visual Studio scripting, debugging, automation, processing, utilization and visualization of complex simulation and measurement data that provides the integration and insights needed to achieve optimal designs that meet multiple performance specifications.
Multi-physics simulation technologies
Error Vector Magnitude (EVM) distortion specification is the new requirement when designing for digitally modulated signals in RF and microwave applications. PathWave ADS incorporates Keysight instrumentation algorithms for compact test signal generation and rapid EVM distortion calculations to deliver EVM simulation support for any modulated signals at the circuit level, enabling design tuning and optimization. Multi-physics simulation enhancements enable designers to:
Accurately identify transient temperature rise to create reliable high-power RF components when deployed in the field to avoid costly premature failures.
Ensure power amplifier stability under all operating conditions. When used with RFPro EM visualization, designers can identify the physical locations and frequencies at which instability occurs to fix them before building hardware.
Compress what would normally require five days on a single machine into one day with cloud-based high-performance computing (HPC) to perform thorough simulation and optimization that results in higher yield and reduced time to market.
Nicholas Saiz, chief architect and co-founder of TeraDAR commented: “We have fully incorporated PathWave ADS into our RFIC design flow, whether using GoldenGate and RFPro within the Cadence Virtuoso environment or stand-alone within ADS. The stand-out tool for us has been RFPro, which has resulted in significant time and cost savings while providing highly accurate results comparable to other on-chip and traditional EM simulators. The ability to EM simulate complete RF blocks and automatically generate fully back-annotated schematics has given us an extra level of confidence heading into each new design. RFPro has been instrumental to several first pass success chips at TeraDAR, which in turn has saved us five-to-six months in re-design and fabrication time.”
Dr. Xu Zhu, director of technology at Menlo Micro said: “PathWave ADS and RFPro give us an end-to-end design and simulation solution for our micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) module workflows. We rely on the PathWave ADS workflow to automate the development of our MEMS products from device wafer level to module integration with other components, as well as PCB design including MEMS device or module plus RF connectors. SmartMount makes integration of different technologies, such as flip-chip or wire bond, onto the module substrate and the PCB board as simple as stacking LEGO blocks. RFPro makes 3D model generation, including complicated MEMS devices, much quicker for our EM analysis.”