The presence of Radio Frequency (RF) circuitry on PCBs is no longer just a military/aerospace or telecommunications industry requirement. The explosion of wireless handheld communications devices is driving the need for mixed analog, digital, and RF designs at a significantly increasing rate. Handhelds, base stations, computer wireless, automotive, industrial, and mil/aero systems now all contain RF in mixed technology boards.

For years, RF design has been a special art, requiring specialized design and analysis tools, by highly specialized designers. Typically, the RF portion of a PCB was designed by that specialist in a completely separate environment and then merged into the rest of the mixed technology PCB. This process was highly inefficient, often requiring several iterations to marry the mixed technologies together and resulting in multiple databases representing the final product.

By working closely with Agilent, Mentor Graphics has developed a new approach and set of integrated design tools that address these issues and results in significant improvements in designer productivity, design cycle time, and product documentation. The integrated design solution enables the complete logical and physical design to be accomplished in one environment (tools and RF shape libraries) that is tightly integrated with Agilent’s state-of-the-art Advanced Design System (ADS) RF simulation capabilities.