- Buyers Guide
Ansoft (part of the Ansys Inc. product portfolio) has always targeted the most challenging engineering problems in both the RF/microwave and signal integrity design space with the combination of its industry-leading 3D EM HFSS and circuit/system/planar EM Design environmentóAnsoft Designer. HFSS, the general-purpose 3D EM simulator, solves components with the most complex, arbitrary geometries, while Ansoft Designer incorporates the resulting electrical model into the larger network including active devices and measurement test benches (for simulating EVM, ACPR, jitter, eye diagrams, etc.). Up until now, the products were separate entities, "dynamically-linked" through the company's proprietary technology.
Ansoft Designer 6.0, which was previewed at this year's IMS, allows HFSS to be operated completely from within the Ansoft Designer Environment. Models of RFIC layout, IC packages and PCBs can be imported to the environment using ECAD links to tools like Cadence, Mentor and Zuken. Designers can then assemble models that can be solved in HFSS without any further set up. Ansys calls this HFSS Solver on Demand. Modeling, material properties, port set up and boundary conditions are set automatically. In addition, all aspects of the models can be parameterized to explore design variations and manufacturability.
Designer 6.0 is also now linked to the popular circuit simulator HSPICE from Synopsys. While ANSYS offers its own circuit simulator called Nexxim that runs within Designer, many signal integrity engineers are locked into proprietary models and designs based on encrypted HSPICE. The new link supports simulation of HSPICE encrypted circuits and models. Engineers are now able to continue using these legacy designs with their simulation engine of choice, while integrating passive modeling results based on Ansoft's EM simulation technology. Additionally, since HSPICE is a circuit solver engine only, without schematic capture or post-processing, Designer provides HSPICE with a powerful user interface ideal for RF/microwave and high speed design.