Remcom has added 5G antenna array design features in the latest release of XFdtd® 3D EM Simulation Software, including workflow enhancements for modeling complex devices at millimeter wave frequencies.

Advanced antenna systems in new 5G devices will use beam steering and multiple data streams to meet the 5G throughput requirements. XFdtd provides performance metrics for beam steering applications by simulating the radiation pattern for different array or subarray phasing conditions used to steer a beam. By considering the optimal gain levels of the various beam steering scenarios, XFdtd plots the cumulative distribution function (CDF) of the effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) of the array as a whole. EIRP is an important indicator of the array’s quality of coverage, particularly valuable for analyzing 5G-capable devices that support multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) use cases.

“The CDF of EIRP metric is growing in importance, as carriers require devices to meet strict quality thresholds. Our customers designing mobile devices need to measure the gain of many signals propagating in different directions, and Remcom is at the forefront of this emerging technology. The new CDF of EIRP plot is a way to help design engineers prepare their devices for the challenging demands of 5G networks.” — Rodney Korte, product manager for XFdtd

Matching Circuit Design

The matching network design workflow has also been enhanced via XFdtd’s integration with Optenni Lab™ matching circuit optimization software. Optenni's optimized matching topology data can now be imported directly into XFdtd, providing users with immediate feedback on how a circuit will behave and eliminating the need to run another simulation. Results such as S-parameters, efficiency and dissipated power are readily available for analysis of system performance, greatly simplifying the matching process for intricate devices with many frequency bands.

The release also introduces modeling options that improve simulation accuracy for the higher frequencies being used by antennas in modern devices, including

  • New feed designed for exciting microstrips.
  • Surface current measurement.
  • User-defined input for surface roughness of conductors.