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Design libraries allow RF and DSP codesign

Posted: 25 Jan 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Janine Love? Agilent? Advanced Design System? ADS? EDA software?

For an RF designer, it's almost always about shortening the design cycle while keeping up with emerging or evolving standards. The team at Agilent has decided to try to make things a bit easier by creating two new libraries for its Advanced Design System (ADS) EDA software: one for mobile WiMAX and another for 802.11n.

What makes Agilent's approach unique is that it allows the codesign and integration of the RF/microwave part and the DSP part of the system, enabling the designer to check out interactions, better understand performance parameters, and avoid over design. "These libraries introduce baseband signal processing as well as RF/microwave in a single environment, enabling the designers to attack problems much earlier in their design cycle," said Afshin Amini, product marketing manager with Agilent's EEsof EDA division. "For example, if you are integrating RF and DSP functionality, you may have to build in margins in the RF section to compensate for the DSP. If those margins are too large, then the resulting design is bigger, more power hungry, or more expensive than it needs to be."

The environment in Ptolemy, the system simultaion tool in ADS, has both the DSP and a comprehensive set of RF/microwave components and co-simulation capabilities. "There are really no other tools that exist with the depth in the RF/microwave area as we have," added Amini. Designers using the library can benefit from a simulation engine and analysis tools that support RF as well as DSP.

What was the hardest part about developing these libraries? "The challenge is being compliant to the latest standard," explained Amini, "We have a dedicated team that stays on top of the spec, writes the code for these libraries, and studies the evolving standards."

The Mobile WiMAX library is available now. The 802.11n library, which is EWC (Enhanced Wireless Consortium) compliant, will be available in February 2006. They both work with the current version of ADS: ADS 2005A.

- Janine Love

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