Remcom announced an update to XFdtd® 3D EM Simulation Software, with transient EM/circuit co-simulation for electrostatic discharge (ESD) testing and support for transient voltage suppressor (TVS) diodes and spark gaps. XFdtd contains a number of features for simulating the ESD testing process, allowing engineers to pinpoint components susceptible to ESD damage and optimize ESD mitigation prior to trial-and-error testing on a physical prototype. Building on these capabilities, the new release supports the import of TVS diode netlist files and inclusion of their nonlinear behavior in a finite-difference time-domain simulation. 

TVS components are critical to the protection of sensitive PC board components, and the ideal simulation method combines a transient nonlinear circuit solver with a full-wave electromagnetic solver. XFdtd simulates non-destructive testing using a virtual prototype that includes the physical layout of the TVS components to enhance accuracy, simultaneously capturing all electromagnetic phenomena from the 3D CAD geometry as well as the complex nonlinear behavior of the circuit model in a single time-domain simulation. Various diode placements can be simulated to determine a successful circuit layout and strengthen the ESD protection of the final device.

Transient EM/circuit co-simulation overcomes the limitations of using specialized solvers in isolation, enabling engineers to analyze device protection measures and more effectively eliminate ESD events. By resolving ESD vulnerabilities earlier in the design process, certification setbacks can be avoided.