Design and simulation software for RF and microwave designers

30th June 2022
Sam Holland

Keysight has introduced the new PathWave Advanced Design System (ADS) 2023, an integrated design and simulation software that rapidly addresses increasing design complexity and higher frequencies in the RF (radio frequency) and microwave industry.

Keysight's PathWave ADS 2023 includes enhancements to electromagnetic (EM) simulation for circuit designers. It also streamlines integration of multi-technology circuit assembly and simulation into enterprise electronic design automation (EDA) design workflows.

PathWave ADS 2023 enables RF and Microwave product development teams to easily address signal complexity, design densification, multi-technology integration and frequencies that are moving to 60GHz and beyond. As a result, customers can shorten time-to-market, improve engineering team productivity, and ultimately deliver competitive designs.

"PathWave ADS 2023 directly addresses the needs of customers developing multi-technology high speed, high-frequency designs," says Joe Civello, director of RF and Microwave Simulation at Keysight.

"This new solution offers workflow and simulation performance improvements that accelerate the design and simulation process while delivering the analysis results necessary to ensure designs meet critical electrical and thermal performance requirements."

RFPro electromagnetic simulation for circuit designers

Simulation performance enhancements in RFPro, the interactive EM simulator integrated with PathWave ADS, enable rapid design tuning and optimisation. New RFPro features include:

  • Automation of EM-circuit co-simulation setup which ensures that analysis is easily accessible by circuit designers without the help of an EM expert or the need for invasive layout editing.
  • Advanced EM solvers and meshing technologies are accessible via a single unified environment with parallelised simulation acceleration through cloud-based, high-performance computing (or HPC) that supports fast, high-capacity simulation.
  • Seamless integration with Cadence Virtuoso, Synopsys Custom Compiler and Ansys HFSS facilitates enterprise electronic design automation signoff workflows.

RF and microwave development environment

PathWave ADS 2023 development environment enhancements include:

  • Automation of 3D multi-technology assembly (SmartMount) for routing and verification of densely integrated RF modules.
  • Enhanced management of design databases containing complex multi-technology structures enables correct simulation setup and traceability of designs and simulation data.
  • Python and Microsoft Visual Studio scripting, debugging, automation, processing, utilisation and visualisation of complex simulation and measurement data that provides the integration and insights needed to achieve optimal designs that meet multiple performance specifications.

Multi-physics simulation technologies

Error Vector Magnitude (EVM) distortion specification is the new requirement when designing for digitally modulated signals in RF and microwave applications.

PathWave ADS incorporates Keysight instrumentation algorithms for compact test signal generation and rapid EVM distortion calculations to deliver EVM simulation support for any modulated signals at the circuit level, enabling design tuning and optimisation. Multi-physics simulation enhancements enable designers to achieve the following:

  • Accurately identify transient temperature rise to create reliable high-power RF components when deployed in the field to avoid costly premature failures.
  • Ensure power amplifier stability under all operating conditions. When used with RFPro EM visualisation, designers can identify the physical locations and frequencies at which instability occurs to fix them before building hardware.
  • Compress what would normally require five days on a single machine into one day with cloud-based high-performance computing to perform thorough simulation and optimisation that results in higher yield and reduced time to market.

For more information, visit PathWave ADS 2023 and the product launch event registration page.

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