PathWave Design 2021 Introduction: 5G Design and Verification


Keysight’s PathWave Software Solutions (PSS) business conducts an annual launch for all of its major design software platforms around the time of the IMS and DAC shows. The launch includes significant new capabilities in PathWave Advanced Design System (ADS), PathWave RFIC Design (GoldenGate), PathWave System Design (SystemVue), PathWave EM Design (EMPro), and PathWave Device Modeling (IC-CAP).

The PathWave Design 2021 launch focuses on 5G design, simulation, and verification. In particular, ADS, GoldenGate, SystemVue, and IC-CAP deliver important new features that enable companies designing 5G chips, modules, and boards to produce better designs faster. This latest PSS launch provides 5G design and verification engineers with the industry’s most advanced simulation and analysis tool suite that no Keysight competitor can match. No other software vendor accelerates 5G workflows to produce higher quality products in shorter design cycles than Keysight.


What is the current customer problem?

Current design methodologies use figures of merit (approximations) to get designs to market quickly. While this approach was possible with 4G and earlier standards, the higher frequencies for 5G, the dramatic increase in design integration complexity, and the broadband modulation required for 5G standards make this legacy approach inadequate. Most of what customers have learned in designing 3G and 4G products does not work with 5G products because the signals are different. The old design methods and habits must change to succeed in 5G design.

How does Keysight solution solve this problem?


There are three “pillars” that are critical for successfully addressing 5G design problems:

  • RF/MW simulation and verification
  • electronic system-level (ESL) simulation
  • device modeling.

The key customer benefits these pillars provide are speed, accuracy, and robustness.

The following is an overview of Keysight’s PathWave Design 2021 solution capabilities:

1)    Faster and More Accurate RF/MW Simulation and Verification

Demands of 5G designs make simulation with modulated signals imperative to reliably produce accurate results orders of magnitude faster. Compact Test Signals and Distortion EVM algorithms from Keysight sources and analyzers enable very fast, measurement-accurate modulated signal simulations in ADS and GoldenGate for support throughout the entire design cycle. When full verification is required at the end of the design cycle, the SystemVue 5G model library is the “gold standard” for accuracy.

Fast circuit envelope Level 5 simulation in ADS and GoldenGate is now significantly more robust for analyzing memory effects in III-V GaN/GaAs power amplifiers. ADS also addresses 5G power amplifier stability, which is extremely challenging due to the frequency bands involved. New Winslow Stability Probes in ADS provide comprehensive power amplifier stability techniques that are unmatched in the industry. ADS RFPro integrated EM simulation and analysis models process variation and runs much faster leveraging high-performance cloud or on premises compute clusters.

2)    Shorter Design Cycles with Electronic System-Level Simulation

System-level simulation shortens the overall 5G design process by catching issues both early and at the end of the design cycle. SystemVue provides premier RF impairment modeling by including layout effects from board and module EM simulations in system simulation. Phased array channel-specific impairments accurately represent element-by-element variations and interactions between nonlinear circuits and phased array antennas. SystemVue’s model-driven engineering workflow includes an improved baseband link for connection to other system tools, which allows digital designers to include RF system models in their environments. The SystemVue 5G new radio model library includes Release 16 support and a digital pre-distortion verification testbench (VTB) for circuit designers to predict pre-distortion of power amplifiers in ADS.

3)    Higher Performance and Reliability with Device Modeling

Accurate device modeling for self-heating and trapping effects is a pre-requisite to meeting 5G design performance and reliability goals. IC-CAP provides 5G power amplifier designers with complete RF GaN modeling that supports trapping and thermal modeling for the CMC standard model. IC-CAP is also now easier to use with the incorporation of the PathWave platform user interface. For improved reliability modeling and low frequency noise characterization, the AgeMOS extraction package in MBP and the new A-LFNA measurement system are introduced respectively. 

Additional Information

What's New in PathWave Design 2021? Read here

Related Information

About Keysight Technologies

Keysight Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: KEYS) is a leading technology company that helps enterprises, service providers and governments accelerate innovation to connect and secure the world. Keysight's solutions optimize networks and bring electronic products to market faster and at a lower cost with offerings from design simulation, to prototype validation, to manufacturing test, to optimization in networks and cloud environments. Customers span the worldwide communications ecosystem, aerospace and defense, automotive, energy, semiconductor and general electronics end markets. Keysight generated revenues of $3.9B in fiscal year 2018. More information is available at

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Beth Hespe, Americas/Europe
+1 609 994–7442

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