PathWave Design 2023 for RF/Microwave Circuit Design

Keysight’s PathWave ADS 2023 software release continues the innovation that has made it the industry’s most trusted RF and Microwave circuit and component Electronic Design Automation (EDA) software suite. The PathWave ADS 2023 release for RF and Microwave:

  • Addresses the challenges design engineers face with rapidly increasing design complexity and higher frequencies in the RF and microwave industry
  • Provides powerful enhancements to electromagnetic (EM) simulation for circuit designers
  • Automates the integration of its multi-technology module assembly and multi-physics EM-electrothermal-circuit simulation tools into enterprise EDA design workflows
Signal Integrity for High-Speed Digital Design using Keysight ADS

Figure 1. RFPro EM Meshes in a Multi-Technology Module with geometries ranging from microns to centimeter. New EM solvers and meshing optimization solve very large and complex structures without the need for traditional invasive cookie-cutting to reduce problem sizes.

RFPro - EM for Circuit Designers

  • Makes simplified EM simulation accessible to every circuit designer
  • Performs complex 3DEM analysis without the help of scarce EM experts
  • Automates the EM analysis on any chosen RF signal path without invasive “cookie-cutting” of layout to maintain design traceability
  • Automates the EM-circuit co-simulation without error-prone manual reconnection of multiple EM S-parameter ports to circuit nodes
  • Enables the use of EM simulation as a design tool for iterative tuning of 3D physical interconnects for optimal RF performance, not just as a signoff verification tool

Superior Gen 2 EM solvers, Meshing and Cloud enabled High Performance Computing (HPC)

  • Mesh Domain Optimization intelligently meshes 3D structures for the best EM accuracy and capacity, involving geometries from microns to centimeters in multi-technology modules on PCB evaluation boards
  • Gen 2 Method of Moments (MOM) and Finite Element Method (FEM) solvers handle an extremely large number of unknowns in RF modules consisting of IC and PCB structures
  • Cloud-based HPC accelerates parallelized EM simulation with swept frequencies, geometries, material properties, and phase-amplitude excitations for thorough design signoff to avoid costly hardware rework downstream

RFPro Integration with Ansys HFSS, Synopsys Design Compiler, and Cadence Virtuoso

  • Integrating RFPro EM environment with popular circuit design flows from Cadence and Synopsys to use Ansys HFSS and/or Keysight EM solvers becomes the EM signoff platform for circuit designers
  • RFPro integration into all main circuit design platforms enables efficient EM simulation deployment into custom workflows for optimal RF PCB/Module and RFIC design to meet higher frequency and 3D integration complexity demands
Double Data Rate Memory (DDR) – Keysight

Figure 2. PathWave ADS RFPro integration with Cadence Virtuoso, Synopsys Design Compiler and Ansys HFSS for EM Signoff.

Module level Multi-Technology Integration and Physical Verification

  • PathWave ADS SmartMount multi-technology assembly and 3D RF routing enables geometries ranging from sub-microns to centimeters to be integrated for mount types such as flip, surface, embedded, stacked, side-by-side, etc.
  • SmartMount automatically manages and preserves the Process Design Kit (PDK) integrity of each technology being integrated for traceability and subsequent simulation of the assembled 3D module structure
  • Module level physical verification with Design Rule Check (DRC), Layout versus Schematic (LVS), and Layout versus Layout (LVL) across multi-technology boundaries ensures correct 3D RF module construction for simulation and hardware production
Double Data Rate Memory (DDR) – Keysight

Figure 3. PathWave ADS unique Multi-Technology assembly (SmartMount), 3D RF interconnect routing and module level verification (DRC, LVS, LVL) enables complex RF modules to be flawlessly integrated for simulation.

Double Data Rate Memory (DDR) – Keysight

Figure 4. PathWave ADS is built on an OpenAccess database with Python and Visual Studio scripting for easy integration into custom enterprise design flows.

PathWave ADS Platform Automation for Custom Enterprise Design Flows

  • PathWave ADS is built on the EDA industry-wide OpenAccess database to facilitate interoperability with other EDA tools. PathWave ADS now adopts Python scripting and Microsoft Visual Studio for editing and debugging automation and inter-process-communication (IPC) custom codes
  • CAD engineers can efficiently incorporate the PathWave ADS design platform capabilities into increasing complex enterprise design flows with smooth deployment and robust mission-critical maintenance

Cloud HPC for accelerating EM and Circuit simulation

  • EM and Circuit simulation acceleration through parallelized High-Performance Computing (HPC) with cost-effective, powerful, and high-capacity cloud-based hardware resources enable typical speed up from 5x to 20x
  • Even with a modest 5x speed up, this means a time saving of 4 days out of a 5-day work week, enabling many more simulations to design high-performance, tolerance-insensitive RF/MW components and to significantly shorten time-to-market
Power Integrity with High Speed Digital Design

Figure 5. EM and Circuit simulation accelerated with powerful and cost-effective cloud based High Performance Computing (HPC) regains 5x to 20x more time for thorough analysis of performance and statistical variations to truly achieve optimal designs.

Double Data Rate Memory (DDR) – Keysight

Figure 6. PathWave ADS Data Display integrated with powerful Python scripting enables complex multi-dimensional simulated and measured data (e.g., Load Pull) to be flexibly manipulated for use in simulation or visualization to gain insights for perfecting your designs.

Data Analysis

  • Python-based data processing, analysis, and visualization in PathWave ADS enables any form of complex measurement data, such as frequency swept load pull data on non-uniform grids, to be brought into the simulation environment for optimizing designs to work with real-world devices and hardware
  • New Python scripting and Microsoft Visual Studio enable powerful automation script creation and debugging for data import/export, translation, processing, visualization, and analysis to get thorough design insights from the combination of simulation and measured data

Circuit Simulation for RF Digital Modulation

  • RF circuits today are designed to handle digitally modulated RF signals and a new figure of merit is the Error Vector Magnitude (EVM) performance. The algorithms in Keysight instrumentation for compact test signal generation and fast EVM distortion measurements are also employed in PathWave ADS for fast and accurate simulation of EVM at the circuit level
  • Fast EVM distortion analysis enables RF circuits to be accurately tuned and optimized for EVM just like Gain, IP3, P1dB, or NF. Distortion EVM eliminates the guesswork from traditional AM-PM estimation techniques
Power Integrity with High Speed Digital Design

Figure 7. Exclusive Keysight instrumentation algorithms in Compact Test Signal generation and fast Error Vector Magnitude (EVM) distortion analysis enables the EVM specs of modulated RF signals in circuits to be tuned and optimized in PathWave ADS.

Double Data Rate Memory (DDR) – Keysight

Figure 8. PathWave ADS unique Winslow stability analysis replaces 14 traditional stability analyses to thoroughly ensure your amplifier is stable under any linear/nonlinear, low/high power conditions when deployed in its integrated packaging.

Double Data Rate Memory (DDR) – Keysight

Figure 9. When Winslow stability analysis is combined with RFPro EM-circuit co-simulation in PathWave ADS, the causes of instability can be visualized physically and the frequencies at which they happen can be identified, so that you can precisely fix the design to prevent costly hardware failures discovered too late.

Circuit Simulation for Nonlinear Stability with Troubleshooting

  • High gain amplifiers in tightly integrated modules can suffer from unintended feedback that causes instability in high-frequency designs above 60 GHz in  WiGig wireless networks and automotive radars
  • PathWave ADS’ unique Winslow stability analysis replaces 14 traditional linear and nonlinear stability analyses. It enables designers to confidently guarantee amplifier stability under any linear/nonlinear, low/high power conditions when deployed in its integrated packaging
  • When combined with RFPro in-situ EM-circuit analysis, the causes, physical locations, and frequencies of instability can be visualized to fix stability issues before prototyping hardware

Circuit Verification in System Applications with Virtual Test Bench (VTB)

  • Virtual Test Benches (VTB) verify that RF circuit designs comply with overall system requirements using  the latest standards-specific source and analysis setups 
  • VTB shortens time to market with early design wins by providing early confirmation of design viability for new standards, such as 5G NR
Power Integrity with High Speed Digital Design

Figure 10. Virtual Test Bench for compliance testing of your RF circuit designs against industry standards such as 5G and automotive radars uses Keysight instrumentation signal generation and measurement analysis techniques to shorten time to market and achieve early design wins for emerging applications.

Double Data Rate Memory (DDR) – Keysight

Figure 11. Dynamic Electro-Thermal (ETH) model generation speeds up transient ETH simulation by typically 10x and up to 100x  to accurately predict harmful temperature peaks in densely integrated RF modules to ensure thermally reliable designs that don’t fail when deployed in the field.

Multi-Physics Electro-Thermal Transient Simulation

  • Electrical simulation alone is not enough to ensure a reliable RF design without considering thermal effects because every 10° C rise in temperature reduces electronic components' meantime to failure (MTTF) by ½. A component that routinely fails after deployment in the field can be extremely costly to fix
  • PathWave ADS offers the industry’s most accurate electro-thermal simulation that predicts the location and timing of harmful transient temperature peaks so that they can be fixed before hardware production
  • PathWave ADS’ Electro Thermal Dynamic model generator speeds up transient electro-thermal simulation by typically 10x and up to 100x to ensure thermal reliability for mission-critical and reputation-critical designs

On-Demand Release Webinar: PathWave ADS 2023 for RF/Microwave

PathWave ADS 2023 is the next major release of Advanced Design System.

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