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6-2017

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Fachzeitschrift für Hochfrequenz- und Mikrowellentechnik

RF & Wireless NI AWR

RF & Wireless NI AWR Design Environment V13 Fig. 1: New capabilities in iFilter allow users to manually place and distribute transmission zeroes at any desired frequency. National Instruments Ni.com/awr Customer Driven Next-generation wireless devices, LTE-A/5G infrastructure, and aerospace/defense electronic systems are creating new challenges for the way engineers design and develop RF/microwave products. These challenges, stemming from high performance goals for bandwidth, linearity, and efficiency, are complicated by system and market requirements for smaller, lighter, and less costly devices. In addition to engineering challenges, business concerns include escalating development costs, limited engineering resources, and time-to-market pressures. To fulfill product requirements, new semiconductor and printed circuit board (PCB) materials, as well as module technologies, are being developed to achieve unprecedented integration and functionality within an increasingly smaller form factor. To successfully implement these technologies, engineers require design automation tools that can accurately predict electrical performance as it relates to physical design, accurately account for excitations from complex waveforms used in communication and radar systems, and offer seamless flow-to-manufacturing processes. NI AWR Design Environment addresses these requirements with an integrated, open platform offering system, circuit, and EM co-simulation that captures the behavior of RF frontend components such as antennas, amplifiers, filters, mixers, and related signal-controlling passive and active devices. To keep pace with these advances in communication electronics, the software is continually evolving to meet RF/microwave market design challenges. V13, the latest release of NI AWR Design Environment, improves engineering productivity with faster, more powerful circuit/system/EM simulation technologies, robust model libraries, and greater design flow automation. Additionally, actual product development of microwave monolithic integrated circuits (MMICs), RFICs, RF PCBs, and multi-technology modules is accelerated with the release of V13 through new synthesis capabilities, enhanced design flow automation, and interoperability with third-party software, as well as additional customer support solutions. Key Aspects of V13 NI AWR Design Environment V13 specifically addresses design challenges associated with highly-integrated RF/ microwave devices commonly found in communications and radar systems. Emphasis in the V13 release is placed on several facets of the software’s end-user use model. The design environment now offers enhancements to the user interface (UI) and new additions to design flow automation, inclusive of syn- 58 hf-praxis 6/2017

RF & Wireless Fig. 2: 5G FBMC signal generator and BER performance. Users can determine the type of circular pulse shaping used in the FBMC signal thesis, import/export of file format standards, and links to third-party tools. Improvements have been made to the harmonic balance (HB) and system-level simulation engines, as well as the planar and arbitrary 3D EM solvers. Physical design has been enhanced with a powerful new PCB import wizard for streamlining design flows across various vendor tools in addition to new, advanced layout editing commands. Lastly, user support has been expanded to bring new insight to the software in terms of interactive guided help and knowledge base content. V13 New and Enhanced Features at a Glance Design Environment and Automation • Advanced multi-technology project support • New optimization methods • Transmission zeros added in iFilter • OpenAccess schematic import/ export • Graph marker improvements • Marching waveforms for HB/ transient analysis • Additional synthesis wizards (such as passives and mixers) Circuit/System Simulation and Models/Libraries • Transient and TAHB improvements • Expanded circuit envelope simulation • Passive model enhancements • Spectre netlist co-simulation • New 5G candidate waveforms library • New system load pull (ACPR, EVM) and nested source/ load pull • Enhanced LTE-A, radar, and phased-array model libraries EM Simulation and Modeling • Simulation speed and solver improvements (meshing, ports, and matrix solve) • Improved AFS algorithms • Enhanced EM ports • Analyst surface roughness model • New 3D editor commands • Enhanced bi-directional links to HFSS, CST, and Sonnet Physical Design and Layout • PCB layout import (ODB++, IPC2851) • Expanded shape preprocessor modifier • Enhanced layout editing User Support • New guided help (GH) interactive documentation • Enhanced online knowledge base (KB) Design Environment and Automation NI AWR Design Environment V13 adds several new key capabilities for design entry (both schematic and layout), parametrized circuit, system and EM subcircuits, design synthesis, simulation and optimization controls, and measurement graphs. These improvements serve to better facilitate designs incorporating multi-technology (mixedtechnology) projects, commonly used to simulate multi-chip modules (MCMs) that incorporate diverse MMIC and RFIC devices on a single laminate package/module. Additionally, process design kit (PDK) specific improvements make it easier to install new PDKs and work with multiple layout process files (LPFs). Custom toolbars can now also be distributed in PDKs to support highly customized design flows for leading front-end module manufacturers. OpenAccess Advances in hierarchical design management, complemented with a new OpenAccess import/ export wizard (supporting, for example, the import/export of RFIC schematics and project symbols from Cadence Virtuoso) and Spectre netlist simulation, provide for the ready and easy design and analysis of small-scale RFICs commonly used in MCMs. Improvements in EM integration, discussed in more detail below, provide direct simulation of embedded passive components, critical interconnects, and entire IC or laminate structures. Optimization/Synthesis V13 offers new functionality to accelerate design starts with the addition of synthesis wizards for designing transformers, power dividers, hybrids, mixers, and multipliers based on a given set of user input specifications. Module Design Multi-technology module design incorporates different IC (PDK) and PCB processes and, at times, different design tools. To deliver smaller devices with optimum performance, it is common for front-end module manufacturers to integrate gallium arsenide (GaAs), gallium nitride (GaN), silicon germanium (SiGe), or RF complementary metal oxide (CMOS) PAs, CMOS or silicon-on-insulator (SOI) switches, and acoustic filters on a single laminate package. V13 Highlights: • AXIEM/Analyst EM analysis speed and capacity improvements • Spectre netlist conversion and APLAC co-simulation for RFICs • Multiple technology enablements • Multiple PDKs/LPFs • Ongoing PDK releases • Hierarchical EM simulation • EM Socket bidirectional flows for third-party tools hf-praxis 6/2017 59

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