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AWR rolls out system-level RF simulation tools

Posted: 06 Sep 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Applied Wave Research? AWR? RF Architect? system-level simulation tool?

EDA vendor Applied Wave Research Inc. (AWR) has announced its RF Architect system-level simulation tool. AWR's RFA tool provides an RF budget analysis, as well as so-called frequency heritage inspection capabilities. For next-generation communication design, this entry-level product is the latest addition to the company's existing Visual System Simulator (VSS) design suite.

The RFA system-level planning and specification tool for RF communication designers lets you create and verify the initial specifications of a radio design. The product helps find potential pitfalls early in the design process, at the system-level design phase, saving design cycle time and speeding time-to-market.

RFA delivers several new technologies that let you streamline the product development process. One component is the tool's RF Budget Analysis feature. It provides the ability to make conventional RF cascaded measurements such as gain, noise figure and third-order intercept, inclusive of image noise, along a communication link.

RF Inspector, another component of RFA, is a frequency-domain simulation tool that helps determine the root cause or heritage of any inter-modulation product of an RF link. RF Inspector's analysis includes the effects of conversions, harmonics, inter-modulation and noise. This lets you isolate the sources of unwanted interferers in order to better architect RF systems.

RFA, complemented with VSS, enables engineering teams to further analyze and simulate designs, and incorporate complex modulation sources and receivers with the same RF link created in RFA. At the same time, you can use the full suite of capabilities offered in VSS, including error vector magnitude (EVM), eye diagrams and bit error rate (BER).

End-to-end design
For its part, VSS is a comprehensive software suite for the design of complete end-to-end communications systems. The software helps reduce time-to-market by eliminating iterations and rework. It promises to cut system cost by ensuring that components aren't over-specified and thus unnecessarily expensive.

AWR's optional TestWave module integrates VSS seamlessly with instruments from leading test equipment vendors, providing a means for virtual hardware prototyping.

AWR's latest VSS 2006 spin, for RF integrated circuit (RFIC) designers, includes RF models in the voltage domain. A VSS RF budget analysis feature now includes measurements to provide greater insight into defining the right component specs.

Moreover, core VSS functions have been expanded with new measurements, additional models and improved existing models. In addition, VSS 2006 addresses the needs of baseband system designers by enabling bit-accurate simulations. The latest VSS 2006 executables also provide signal models for the most current communications standards.

RFA will be available directly from AWR and distribution channels, starting at about $4,000/year, depending on configuration. A full production release is scheduled for Q1 2007.

- Alex Mendelsohn

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