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Electromagnetic tool speeds radio, microwave designs

Posted: 13 Dec 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:RF? microwave? EDA? Vector Fields? electromagnetic?

Vector Fields has launched an update to Concerto, its high-frequency electromagnetic package. The additions to the EDA software, including new and enhanced solvers, sophisticated model parameterization and an enhanced scripting capability, provide the means to rapidly create and optimize the most complex radio and microwave designs.

Concerto series 6 offers a comprehensive suite of electromagnetic design capabilities, using powerful geometric modeling to provide 2D and 3D simulation and design optimization. Component or system models can be imported from CAD programs, or created using a powerful built-in 3D geometric modeler. To speed the design process, a major enhancement is the inclusion of a "parameterized history stream," allowing complete models to be easily modified and replayed. This makes it easy to save portions of code, as script-like shortcuts for designers who regularly create variations of similar products, such as antennas.

When a design model is ready, users have a choice of three simulation methods to characterize performance. As standard, Concerto offers a 3D finite difference time domain (FDTD) simulator, which has very broad ranging applicability. A 2D FDTD simulator for axisymmetric geometry is available with this release, allowing rotationally symmetric structures such as some horn antennas or coaxial components to be simulated rapidly. A further time-saving feature is adaptive meshing, which allows users to use the most efficient mesh resolution for the accuracy of solution required.

Simulation options
Depending on the application, users have two further simulation options. A method of moments tool provides a good platform for simulating large environment problems such as installed antenna performance. A comprehensive suite of interactive post processing tools targeted at antenna design has been added in series 6. These include a tool for investigating coupling/immunity between multiple antennas.

To this capability, series 6 adds a new finite element method tool, which provides an elegant means of performing eigen value analysis for problems such as characterizing microwave resonator and cavity designs. Together, this selection gives designers the means to choose the best and fastest approach for addressing a diverse range of applications.

Design optimization is made even faster by several enhancements. Models can be parameterized using variables, making it simple to perform "what if" investigations. A new version of the package's optimizer tool allows users to set design goals for several parameters simultaneously, and the software will automatically find the best solution to fine-tune performance, cost, real estate or other user-defined characteristics.

Another feature of Concerto's simulation and optimization flexibility is the ability to suspend and resume processing at will, and to optimize the computational process. Unique features built into Concerto's core FDTD solver already make it much faster than many other time domain algorithms. Suspend and resume commands allow users to free up their computers during simulation if they need it for other tasksincluding an entirely different Concerto designor "freeze" a run at any stage and transfer it to another computer. The software additionally allows users to multithread execution to allow multiple processors to be applied to speed answers.

Improved ease-of-use
Multiphysics modeling is becoming increasingly important in designs. Concerto optionally includes coupled thermal FDTD, allowing designers to determine how electromagnetic performance will vary as temperature rises. Series 6 enhances the integration of these disciplines to improve ease-of-use.

The latest software release also operates with system-level EDA. Users of Applied Wave Research's popular Microwave Office (MWO) software for wireless telecom circuit design can seamlessly call Concerto simulation to characterize critical components in the system model, all from a single user interface.

Concerto series 6 is available immediately for use on Windows platforms.

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