Design Automation


Partnership will help engineers better analyse EM designs

2 November 2005 Design Automation

Applied Wave Research (AWR), a leading provider of high-frequency electronic design automation (EDA) tools, and Flomerics, a provider of 3D electromagnetic analysis software, have announced a partnership that will enable microwave/RF engineers analysing circuit layouts using AWR's Microwave Office software to study the electromagnetic performance of key components in 3D using the MicroStripes software from Flomerics.

The data translation will take advantage of the AWR EM Socket interface to enable Microwave Office users to transfer data automatically to the MicroStripes' 3D solver, allowing comprehensive analysis of antennas, filters, couplers, interconnects, planar structures and packaging issues.

Flomerics' new Version 7 of its MicroStripes EM design simulation software automatically runs a series of simulations while varying one or more design parameters over a user-specified range. This feature is supplemented by improvements in the accuracy of the automatic meshing algorithm. Further, the new version enables users to inspect simulation results more quickly by simply running their mouse over the graphical output.

By allowing users to substitute variables for design parameters, the Version 7 speeds up the design process significantly. Users model their concept design, identify geometric entities as variables, pick upper and lower limits for each variable, and select a step size. The software then generates as many simulation iterations as are required to completely explore the design space defined by the user.

Surface current and electric field vector plots are shown for a Stripline Meander (on left), and for a 9λ radius parabolic dish with horn feed (on right)
Surface current and electric field vector plots are shown for a Stripline Meander (on left), and for a 9λ radius parabolic dish with horn feed (on right)

The visualisation of results in the new version has been improved to allow engineers to access the information they need to optimise their design more quickly. Running the mouse over a radiation pattern graph, for example, now yields the radiation magnitude at each point. Likewise, moving over electromagnetic field output produces field magnitude at any given point. The radiation pattern display has also been improved to directly show the antenna efficiency and gain.

MicroStripes electromagnetic analysis software differs from other electromagnetic simulation software in that it uses the transmission line matrix (TLM) method for solving Maxwell's equations. A key advantage of the TLM method when applied to antenna design is that it solves for all frequencies of interest in a single calculation and therefore captures the full broadband response of the system in one simulation cycle. A further advantage is that it creates a matrix of equivalent transmission lines and solves for voltage and current on these lines directly. This uses less memory and CPU time than solving for E and H fields on a conventional computational grid.



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