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Platform Propels RF Designs from Concepts to Products (.PDF Download)

Oct. 3, 2018
Platform Propels RF Designs from Concepts to Products (.PDF Download)

Accelerating wireless communications and other electronic products driven by coming 5G networks, Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and ADAS vehicles are pressuring engineers to develop unique solutions more quickly and efficiently. As a result, RF/microwave designers must develop smaller, more capable antenna and other RF front-end components in less time than before.

In many cases, engineers must adapt novel designs based on evolving techniques and materials, advanced device integration, and greater exploration of the design space with unique topologies and architectures. Fortunately, computer-aided-design (CAD) software can help, especially when it’s the latest version—V14—of the NI AWR Design Environment from National Instruments AWR.

As demands increase for new RF front-end components with higher levels of performance, such as improved linearity and lower noise figure, designers must learn to juggle an often-conflicting set of design parameters. Circuit, system, and electromagnetic (EM) simulation must work seamlessly together along with design automation that helps engineers define and manage complex RF electronics, including chip, package, and board structures.

Simulation must accurately predict the response to standards-based signals, and the environment must help engineers create and organize simulation results to gain insight into component behavior. And these capabilities must integrate well with other design tools. These qualities are built into NI AWR Design Environment software, inclusive of Microwave Office, Analog Office, Visual System Simulator (VSS), AXIEM, and Analyst software, providing a robust and complete platform for RF/microwave engineers to develop these next-generation communication electronics.

The V14 release of NI AWR Design Environment software focuses on all of these stages of RF/microwave design. It emphasizes accelerating design starts through powerful network synthesis, enhanced design flow automation for printed-circuit-board (PCB) and module design, phased-array antenna system generation, and standards-compliant test benches. In addition, solver improvements provide fast and reliable simulation, as well as tuning and optimization, to help engineers convert their initial design starts into physically realizable RF components and systems. Powerful data visualization through dynamic data reporting and linked measurements provides a better understanding of how design choices impact performance. On top of that, enhanced automation within NI AWR software further supports back-end design operations.