High-frequency RF and microwave circuits require a different approach in the design process than a standard printed circuit board. The AWR product line is taylored for these applications and works in conjunction with the OrCAD and Allegro design flow for PCB.
Antennas, waveguids and filters are captured in a special schematic entry and layout canvas which are both very tightly integrated. The shape of the layout (metal on PCB) defines the function of the structures themselves. To capture the behaviour of the circuit, the layout need to be extracted by a field solver with all the parasitic influences of the structures and its surrounding metal. After extraction creates an electrical model of the structure, the behaviour of layout vs frequency can be simulated.
The AWR products are used for radio frequency (RF), microwave and high frequency analog circuits and system design. Typical applications include mobile, navigation, and satellite communications systems, antennas of various kinds (WLAN-IoT, 5G, WiFi-6, ...), radar systems and RF power devices.
To streamline high frequency electronic design the solution offers electromagnetic (2.5D and full 3D), linear and non-linear solvers (both frequency and time domain) as well as layout capabilities all within a single environment to improve the design efficiency. Different applications require different level of analysis, so AWR offers with AXIEM a method of moments (MoM) planar solver as well with Analyst a 3D FEM EM simulation and analysis simulator. But also interfaces to other simulators like Spectre, Clarity or others depending on the engineering need.
Proper design of RF antennas on PCBs determines the quality of the antenna. Various parameters describe the quality of antennas.
Basics for PCB Antenna Design
AWR Design Environment offers enhanced technologies that provide greater design efficiency and first-pass success to engineering teams developing or integrating PCB assemblies for 5G, automotive, and aerospace / defense applications. Engineering productivity is improved with new analyses, faster and higher-capacity simulation technologies, time-saving design automation, and 5G New Radio (NR) compliant test benches that support power amplifier and antenna/array design, electromagnetic modeling, and RF / microwave integration across heterogenous technologies.
This video explains the electromagnetic (EM) features in Cadence AWR AXIEM and Analyst simulators. AXIEM software offers improved meshing with fewer high-aspect ratio facets (HARFs), a true DC solver for biasing that is 40X faster, and subnanometer meshing for MIM capacitors. Analyst software provides lumped RLC elements, a distributed solver for Linux distributed computer clusters, and improved accuracy for lossy wave ports.
To support increasing functionality, printed circuit boards (PCBs) employ more complex board structures designed for a range of specialized applications. Offering a layout-driven design methodology for complex RF PCBs, AWR Design Environment supports accurate modeling of PCB transmission media from the RF signal path to digital control and DC bias lines. Circuit/system and electromagnetic co-simulation provides first-pass design success with complete PCB analysis of surface-mount components, interconnecting transmission lines, embedded and distributed passive elements, as well as EM verification.
Microwave Office circuit design software is used to accelerate product development of high-frequency electronics. The intuitive interface for RF-aware schematic capture and layout provides you the environment to design, simulate, and analyze you high frequency analog circuits. From here you can start your extraction and simulation with different fieldsolvers and display the results.
AXIEM is a method of moments (MoM) EM analysis simulator which can address passive structures, transmission lines, large planar antennas, and patch arrays.
AXIEM software delivers the accuracy, capacity, and speed designers need to characterize and optimize passive components on RF PCBs, modules, LTCCs, MMICs, RFICs, and antennas.
Analyst 3D FEM EM is a full 3D simulation and analysis simulator which accelerates high-frequency product development from early physical design characterization. The advanced solver technology provides fast and highly accurate analysis of the 3D structures and interconnects found in today's complex high-frequency electronics like connectors and other 3D shape components.
RF / wireless communications and radar system design software supports VSWR-aware modeling of RF and DSP blocks, providing time-domain, frequency-domain, and circuit-envelope analyses. With VSS, Tx / Rx designers are able to develop and optimize system architectures and determine component specifications for best overall performance. Users can simulate system metrics such as BER and EVM with pre-configured and user-defined virtual test benches, as well as identify the source of spurious products and other system impairments.
Latest AWR release offers AWR Design Environment Features (Version Control Improvements, Schematic and System Editor Enhancements, Python Scripting), Microwave Ofﬁce Features (Silicon RF/mmWave IP Creation, EMX Planar 3D Solver Integration, Interoperability with Allegro Platforms Enhancements, Enhanced SpectreRF Integration, Optimizer Enhancements, ...), VSS Features (Data File Improvements, Ampliﬁer Design, Mixer Design, RF System Design, RF Measurements, Minor Improvements) and help with migration issues.