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Key Features & Specifications

The Circuit Envelope (CE) Element for Advanced Design System (ADS) contains the following capabilities:

  • Circuit Envelope simulator for efficient analysis of digitally modulated and transient RF excitation in circuits and systems
  • Accurate circuit simulation of error-vector magnitude (EVM), adjacent channel power ratio (ACPR), adjacent channel leakage ratio (ACLR) and bit-error-rate (BER) with spec-compliant 2G, 3G and 4G modulated RF wireless signals
  • X-parameter** nonlinear model simulation under modulated RF excitation
  • Linearizer design guide provides popular topologies and simulation templates for designing power amplifier linearizer circuits
  • RF system design guide provides system architecture design and analysis utilities and simulation templates for setting up digitally modulated RF sources and verification of wireless specifications
  • Enables circuit-system co-simulation with Ptolemy system simulator


The Circuit Envelope Element provides modulated and transient RF simulation capabilities to the Advanced Design System (ADS), the flagship product from Keysight EEsof EDA, the technology and innovation leader in high-frequency mixed-signal electronic design automation (EDA). ADS is the only design simulation platform that enables the co-design of IC, package and board in high-frequency and hi-speed applications. It seamlessly integrates system, circuit, full 3D electromagnetic simulation with Keysight’s test instrumentation for you to do single pass successful electronic designs repeatedly.

Circuit Envelope efficiently simulates circuits and systems driven under modulated and transient RF excitation. A patented simulation technology that overcomes the memory limits of harmonic balance and the time penalty of transient simulators, CE is especially useful for doing non-linear designs to satisfy the latest 3G and 4G wireless standards such as LTE and WiMax™. Here, instead of using steady state excitation such as in harmonic balance simulation, CE uses realistic signals containing modulated and transient RF carriers to accurately simulate wireless specifications such as EVM, ACPR and BER.

Unlike other envelope simulators which can only use system behavioral models and simulate only the envelope of the RF carriers without taking into account impedance mismatches, Circuit Envelope has none of these restrictions. It allows any combination of circuit, system and measured X-parameter blocks to be accurately simulated with modulated RF signals and accounts for signal reflections and frequency mixing throughout the network.

Circuit Envelope takes full advantage of using X-parameters, the latest Keysight Technologies’ invention that captures full non-linear characteristics from a non-linear vector network analyzer (NVNA) measurement. It lets you to do accurate non-linear designs, such as power amplifier linearization and power-added efficiency (PAE) optimization, under digitally modulated RF excitation with measured X-parameters of off-the-shelf components. You can’t do this with any other envelope simulator!

The ADS Circuit Envelope Element requires the ADS Harmonic Balance Element capabilities to work.

Functionality Included in this Element

  • Circuit Envelope Simulator - Efficient simulation technique for the complex digitally modulated RF signals found in today's wireless circuits.
  • Linearizer DesignGuide - Contains many templates that assist developers in designing a linearizer to meet performance specifications for non-linear circuits.
  • RF System DesignGuide - Configures transmitter and receiver chains using behavioral system models.

Learn more about Keysight Advanced Design System (ADS) Simulation Elements