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PathWave EM Design (EMPro)


3D electromagnetic modeling and simulation environment integrated with your ADS design flow


PathWave EM Design (EMPro) is a 3D modeling and simulation environment for analyzing the 3D electromagnetic (EM) effects of high-speed and RF/microwave components. EMPro features a modern design, simulation and analysis environment, high-capacity time- and frequency-domain simulation technologies and integration with ADS, the industry’s leading RF/microwave and high-speed design environment.

PathWave EM Design (EMPro) Overview

EMPro delivers the following key capabilities:

Modern, efficient 3D solid modeling environment

EMPro provides the flexibility of drawing arbitrary 3D structures and the convenience of importing existing CAD files. You can create 3D shapes, add material properties, set up simulations, and view results—all within the EMPro environment.

Time- and frequency-domain simulation technology

3D structures can be analyzed in EMPro using the same FEM simulator available in ADS. FEM is a frequency-domain technology widely used for RF/microwave applications. For electrically large problems, such as antennas and some signal integrity analysis, the finite difference time domain (FDTD) simulator can be used.

Integration with ADS

Parameterized 3D components can be created in EMPro and placed in a layout design in ADS. The 3D FEM simulator in ADS can then be used to simulate the combination of the 2D layout and the 3D EM component.

PathWave EM Design (EMPro) Simulation Capabilities

There are several different technical approaches to EM simulation, each with their own advantages in certain application areas. The most established 3D EM simulation technologies are FEM and FDTD. Both of these technologies are available in EMPro.

Finite Element Method (FEM)

FEM is a frequency-domain technique that can handle arbitrary shaped structures such as bondwires, conical shape vias and solder balls/bumps where z-dimensional changes appear in the structure. FEM solvers can also simulate dielectric bricks or finite-size substrates.

FEM is based on volumetric meshing where the full problem space is divided into thousands of smaller regions and represents the field in each sub-region (element) with a local function. The geometric model is automatically divided into a large number of tetrahedra, where a single tetrahedron is formed by four equilateral triangles.

This collection of tetrahedra is referred to as the finite element mesh. The Keysight Technologies, Inc. FEM simulator includes both direct and iterative solvers, and both linear and quadratic basis functions, to solve a broad range of problems. The same FEM simulator is available in both EMPro and ADS. EMPro supports remote simulation and distributed frequency sweeps for FEM.

Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD)

As with FEM, the FDTD method is based on volumetric sampling of the electric and magnetic fields throughout the complete space. Whereas FEM meshes consist of tetrahedral cells, FDTD meshes are typically built from rectangular (Yee) cells.

The FDTD method updates the field values while stepping through time, following the electromagnetic waves as they propagate through the structure. As a result, a single FDTD simulation can provide data over an ultra-wide frequency range.

Because of its simple, robust nature and its ability to incorporate a broad range of linear and nonlinear materials and devices, FDTD is used to study a wide range of applications, including antenna design, microwave circuits, bio/EM effects, EMC/EMI problems, and photonics. FDTD is an inherently parallel method and therefore lends itself very well

to the processing capabilities of the most recent advances in CPU (general-purpose processors) and GPU (graphics processors) hardware. EMPro also supports remote simulation and distributed port simulations for FDTD.

Typical PathWave EM Design (EMPro) Applications

IC packages

The performance of an RFIC, monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMIC), high- speed IC, or system-in-package (SIP) is directly impacted by the effects of packaging, including wire bonds and solder balls/bumps.

Traditionally, designers had to draw and analyze packages in a separate, 3D EM tool and then laboriously import the results back to the IC or SIP circuit-design environment for a combined analysis. With EMPro, you can efficiently create 3D package structures that can be combined with 2D circuit layouts in ADS. This allows co-design of the IC, package, laminate, and module with circuit simulation and 3D EM simulation in a streamlined design flow.

Multi-layer RF modules

RF modules typically are constructed from multi-layer ceramic or laminate dielectric material with embedded RF passive components between the layers. Such dielectric brick structures cannot be accurately solved by planar EM simulators, which assume infinite dielectric layers and do not account for edge proximity fringing.

The embedded RF components are drawn by RF circuit layout macros which would be very time consuming to reproduce in a standalone 3D EM tool. Full 3D EM simulation integrated within the circuit design flow is the ideal solution for these applications.

RF components

RF board designs include 3D components and connectors that need to be characterized to high frequencies. Components such as resonators are sensitive to interactions with the surrounding PC board traces and vias. Such 3D components can be created and simulated in EMPro and then combined with a board layout in ADS for complete 3D EM simulation.


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