Today’s high performance electronic systems require design teams to integrate high speed and/or high frequency components to meet aggressive timelines as well as stringent specifications. The traditional approach of “integrating in the lab” to build out systems is neither conducive to meeting aggressive time-to-market windows nor efficient from an engineering resource perspective. The more common practice is now to virtually integrate components from multiple suppliers into one complete system-level design to accelerate and ensure first-pass success. Component vendors are hesitant to share the level of detail required for complete system design and multiphysics analysis simulations within the design community ecosystem and this is a critical hurdle to overcome with this virtual integration methodology.

To address this situation, Cadence provides a software solution and workflow that allows vendors to supply 3D components, like connectors, to enable design teams to merge mechanical CAD component models with printed circuit board (PCB) designs. Everything can be simulated as a single, complex structure without revealing the underlying proprietary physical IP. This improves simulation accuracy since the PCB and the connector can be simulated as a complete/combined structure instead of as a cascade of S-parameter models. With Cadence encryption support within its multiphysics systems analysis products, specifically Cadence® Clarity™ 3D Solver for electromagnetic (EM) analysis, designers can freely share their electronic component designs without the risk of revealing confidential IP.


A 3D component is an encapsulated model that includes a set of 3D objects, sheets, boundary conditions and ports/excitations from the Clarity 3D Solver and Clarity Transient Solver. Using the Clarity 3D Solver as an example, designers can easily import and export individual 3D component designs like those shown in Figure 1 across Cadence platforms such as Allegro® PCB Design.

Figure 1

Figure 1 3D Components of typical models (capacitor, coil and connector).

The 3D components solution enables designers to create an encrypted model and choose to show the user the outer portion of the design without revealing the underlying proprietary IP. Figure 2a highlights the menu to generate and export a 3D component. Figure 2b shows the 3D connector component in full detail, while Figure 2c shows the resultant IP-protected equivalent model displaying only the port location and rough footprint outline.

Figure 2

Figure 2 Menu to generate and export a 3D component (a), 3D connector component (b) and IP-protected equivalent model (c).

Cadence’s 3D encryption of components enables designers to edit, share and work on high speed and high frequency electrical component designs with external customers and partners. It allows designers to protect the underlying IP of their designs when collaborating with others through password protection. It also hides the main portions of the design while showing only the necessary geometries.

Once a 3D component is encrypted, it can be shared. As Figure 1 shows, the recipient of the protected IP cannot see the inner workings of the components. The designer has successfully hidden the components’ IP from view, guaranteeing IP protection while enabling customers and partners to use these components to carry out their respective multiphysics system-level simulations without any loss of accuracy.


JAE became the first 3D component vendor to take full advantage of Cadence’s 3D component functionality within the Clarity 3D Solver, publicly announcing their use of the software in July 2022. Before encryption support, JAE provided their connector simulation model at a very high level of abstraction as an equivalent circuit or S-parameter. For connector manufacturers like JAE, 3D CAD data of high performance connectors is confidential and a highly-valued proprietary design asset not readily disclosed. Through collaboration, Cadence and JAE realized encrypted models capable of accurate EM field simulation while also hiding the internal structure of the connector.


Cadence encryption support within its multiphysics analysis products provides a solution for 3D components manufacturers who are concerned about sharing their valuable IP with partners. This solution enables vendors to safely merge their mechanical CAD models with PCB designs without revealing the underlying proprietary physical IP. Merging PCB designs and connector CAD models results in one combined structure that enables improved simulation accuracy.

As more vendors adopt the JAE approach, these encrypted component models will be made available for registered users to download from the vendor’s website or through an online catalog. The protected nature of the models ensures that the component IP is protected while allowing the system-level design engineers access to the data they need. Cadence believes that this will enable designers to model what they make and make what they model, delivering high performing solutions on time and in spec to the market.

Cadence Design Systems, Inc.
San Jose, Calif.