Keysight 5G RF tool runs from chips to systems

July 20, 2020 //By Nick Flaherty
Keysight 5G RF tool runs from chips to systems
Keysight's PathWave Design 2021 enables 5G design engineers to accelerate development of chip, board and systems by integrating device, circuit and system design.

Keysight Technologies has launched an open, scalable and predictable 5G and millimetre wave design and validation tool to accelerate delivery of chip, board and system products.

The 5G market is rapidly gaining broader acceptance. Network operators are transitioning from 4G and rolling out commercial 5G around the world. Equipment manufacturers and suppliers need to optimize performance, cost (yield), and time-to-market in their designs to be selected as vendor of choice for mainstream 5G deployments. However, higher frequencies coupled with the increasing design integration and complexity of 5G, require a unified, end-to-end approach to eliminate late stage design iterations and ensure first pass success.

PathWave Design 2021 provides tools across all design phases including simulation to validation as well as test and manufacturing in 5G RF and microwave design flows.

“Current design methodologies for 4G and earlier standards use approximate figures of merit to get designs to market quickly,” said Tom Lillig, general manager of PathWave Software Solutions at Keysight Technologies. “This legacy approach is insufficient for modern designs, which increase integration requirements due to 5G broadband modulation schemes.  The design techniques developed with previous generations of designs simply aren’t sufficient to meet the 5G standards.”

Keysight says engineers can eliminate months from product schedules by increasing the speed and reducing the complexity of chip level analysis and verification with integrated EM simulation and accelerating the verification process by running simulations in parallel in the high-performance cloud computing. The toolflow helps to predict performance at the circuit and system levels using common modulated signals and accurate RF system models. This supports scaling of the end-to-end ecosystem from device to circuit to test and manufacturing with model-driven engineering.

The tools can be used by power amplifier designers using RF Gallium Nitride (GaN) to model trapping and thermal effects, while front-end module and RF transceiver designers can assemble technologies to model packaging and coupling effects quickly and efficiently. System integrators can predict system performance with RF circuits, antennas and


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