The Altair Partner Alliance (APA) announced the addition of Optenni’s Optenni Lab to its software offering. Optenni Lab is a software tool for the synthesis and optimization of matching circuits for multiband, broadband, multi-antenna and tunable antenna systems, which can also be used for demanding radio frequency amplifier matching problems.

“Matching circuits are key and widely used in the RF chain, where they can have a big impact on the performance of any wireless device, including its range and battery life. Designing and tuning matching circuits can be a tedious task and Optenni Lab offers RF and antenna engineers an intuitive, fast, and easy-to-use matching circuit synthesis and optimization software,” said Dr. Jordi Soler, Director of Global Business Development, Electromagnetic Solutions at Altair.

“Our fruitful collaboration with Optenni started many years ago, where we have been and still are selling Optenni Lab as a separate tool and licensing to complement FEKO®. Today, we are taking an important step forward by having Optenni Lab join the APA since this will permit Altair customers to run Optenni Lab using HyperWorks Units with no additional licenses required. Altair customers from multiple industries will now be able to leverage this new addition, including consumer electronics and IoT companies, automotive, aerospace, defense, electronics and communications, among other verticals.

“There is a two-way link between FEKO and Optenni Lab. Customers use FEKO to simulate the impedance data for the unmatched antenna, which is transferred to Optenni Lab to synthesize the optimal matching circuit, considering multiple topologies and using realistic library models from several component vendors. Once the matching circuit is designed, it is transferred back to FEKO and added into the model. Matching circuits for antennas are widely used but Optenni is also useful to design matching circuits for low-noise and power amplifiers and for multiplexer design.”

Optenni Lab optimizes matching circuits to maximize the total efficiency of broadband and multiband antennas, taking into account component losses and antenna radiation efficiency. The software also provides matching circuits that optimize the total efficiency in multi-antenna systems, taking antenna coupling/isolation into account. Multiport capabilities are used to maximize the end-to-end transfer of energy in Bluetooth, RFID, NFC and wireless charging applications.

The software tool is also to offer unique capabilities specifically engineered for designing and optimizing tunable and switchable matching circuits providing optimal values for both fixed and tunable matching components so that the best efficiency is obtained on all the desired operation bands. In designing matching circuits for low-noise amplifiers and power amplifiers, the user can specify the optimal target impedances for best noise, power, or efficiency performance – including the impedances at harmonic frequencies. Optenni Lab also speeds up the design of quadplexers and higher N-plexers in modern multiband front-end modules for mobile devices.

"Optenni Ltd. has collaborated for many years with the FEKO development and sales teams to support and sell an easy-to-use complete solution for matching circuit design for antenna applications,” said Jussi Rahola, Optenni CEO. “We are happy to join the Altair Partner Alliance as we see it as a strategic partnership to boost our sales to large international companies through the Altair sales network."

Optenni Lab is typically used in the design of handheld device antenna systems – smartphones, tablets etc. – and in the automotive industry for radio transceiver unit's antenna design. The antennas are often integrated into the device cover or printed circuit board, and the geometry and ground planes are thus usually restricted by the mechanical design. In an efficient design flow, the antenna geometry is optimized together with the matching circuit, using electromagnetic (EM) simulator and Optenni Lab cooperatively.

Before implementing the matching circuit, the possible EM simulation inaccuracies can be adjusted by carrying out a prototype measurement and using the measured data in the matching circuit synthesis. This way the user can alleviate the EM modeling accuracy requirement and adapt to last-minute changes in device mechanics, materials etc.

As a specific example, the demand for high data rates on smartphones requires implementation of antenna tuners, and Optenni Lab is specifically engineered to optimize them. It is also gaining popularity in wireless infrastructure design, namely in the design of RF power amplifier output matching circuits, employed, e.g. in cellular network base stations. Proper output matching circuit design can increase the amplifier efficiency by several percentage units, which is directly related to the operational costs through reduced power consumption and better coverage. Optenni Lab can greatly speed up the critical matching section design.