AWR, a leader in high-frequency electronic design automation (EDA), announced it has acquired Simulation Technology and Applied Research Inc. (STAAR), Mequon, WI, a developer of 3D parallelized FEM tools for EM simulation of components and subsystems operating at RF and microwave frequencies. STAAR is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of AWR Corp., retaining its operations and facilities in Wisconsin, and under the continued guidance of STAAR founder John DeFord.
AWR chose STAAR after spending much of 2008 evaluating 3D EM technologies and firms in response to customer demand for a seamlessly-integrated 3D FEM tool within the AWR Design Environment™. AWR concluded the acquisition of STAAR in December 2008, at the end of another record-breaking quarter for the company. For the year, sales grew in excess of 22 percent over 2007, driven by strong demand for the company's new AXIEM 3D planar EM simulator.
STAAR, a profitable company that was launched in 1997, has developed proprietary parallelized 3D FEM EM simulation and analysis capability, which is embodied in its Analyst™ software. Analyst software is the result of more than a decade of development at STAAR in collaboration with the US Department of Defense and US Department of Energy, and has been employed to analyze extremely-complex RF and microwave structures at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center and Naval Research Laboratory.
"The entire team at STAAR is delighted that our Analyst technology was found to be the most compelling 3D FEM EM software for AWR to offer to its customer base," said John DeFord, STAAR founder. "STAAR's product line, corporate philosophy of simulation accuracy and scalability, along with excellent customer service aligns well with AWR's corporate culture. Analyst software is a natural complement to AWR's existing product portfolio and we're excited by the prospect of taking the Analyst solution global via AWR's worldwide sales, marketing and support organization."
Analysis of EM fields in complex structures, such as complete Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits (MMIC), densely-populated RF circuit boards, and multifunction modules, frequently requires large amounts of memory and processing power that can overburden even the most capable of today's "high-end" workstations. Many of these problems can be solved, but with limited accuracy for want of greater system resources. Analyst software addresses this deficiency by employing scalable decomposition algorithms to optimize cluster computing resources, resulting in dramatically reduced computation times, improved accuracy, and a greater return on investment in computer hardware. By supporting both shared- and distributed-memory systems, the Analyst 3D FEM EM tool is easily configured to work with common computing architectures.
"The unique 3D FEM EM analysis technologies developed by John DeFord and his colleagues are a perfect complement to our current EM solutions such as the award-winning AXIEM planar simulator," said Sherry Hess, VP Marketing at AWR. "Analyst's novel parallelized 3D FEM technologies provide exceptional power and scalability beyond anything available on the market today and alongside AXIEM 3D planar EM software gives designers the ability to solve a wide range of designs."