Microwave Journal

Simulation for Tomorrow’s Industrial Design Flows

January 11, 2019

Today’s engineers are working on smart products that are competitive, high performance and energy efficient. Instead of siloed simulation tools for highly specialized applications, these products need agile, versatile design software that integrates a variety of functions, crossing disciplines and fields of physics.

CST Studio Suite is a leading electromagnetic (EM) simulation package for design, analysis and optimization. The 2019 release introduces several new features to improve collaborative design across teams, including encrypted data sharing, improved import tools and EM simulation on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. CST Studio Suite 2019 continues the constant optimization of the solvers for the latest hardware and the integration of different solver methods into the hybrid solver.


Since CST was acquired by Dassault Systèmes in 2016, intensive development has increased the integration between CST Studio Suite and the other design and multiphysics simulation tools Dassault Systèmes offers. One major part of this process is the introduction of CST Studio Suite to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.

The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is a business experience platform that offers Dassault Systèmes’ portfolio of software solutions in one collaborative environment. With 3DEXPERIENCE integration, CST Studio Suite can be launched directly from the platform, using CAD data from tools such as SolidWorks and CATIA, already available on the platform, and the simulation results can be viewed and shared with others on the platform.


In the 2019 version, an important feature for the automotive industry is the ability to import noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) meshes for the time domain, integral equation and asymptotic solvers. As CAD models for vehicles are typically complex, the manufacturers usually prepare a reduced model with a ready-to-be-simulated surface mesh. The connectivity between the body panels is essential for an EM simulation, and this information can be included within NVH meshes, cutting the time to prepare a simulation model and reducing the potential for errors due to incorrect connectivity. The mesh can be imported using SIMULIA Abaqus and NASTRAN formats.


Each EM solver method has its strengths and weaknesses: some are broadband, while others are better suited to very resonant applications; some can model electrically large structures very efficiently, while others offer very accurate simulations of very small, complex geometries. Yet a system will often include resonant and broadband components with both fine details and electrically large parts. For these applications, combining multiple solver methods with a hybrid simulation can significantly cut simulation time.

With CST Studio Suite 2019, all the general purpose high frequency methods are supported in hybrid simulation: the time domain solver (T solver), the frequency domain solver (F solver), the integral equation solver (I solver), the transmission line matrix (TLM) solver and the asymptotic solver (A solver). This allows, for example, a detailed simulation of an antenna with the time domain solver to be combined with a simulation of the antenna’s installed performance on an aircraft body using the asymptotic solver.


Figure 1

Figure 1 Antenna design (top) and its encrypted black box representation (bottom), showing how design elements are hidden.

System equipment manufacturers often require simulation models from their suppliers that can be included in their system integration simulations for validation and certification. These models can reveal confidential design information, so sharing them outside the company represents a potential intellectual property risk. To mitigate this risk, CST Studio Suite 2019 includes the ability to produce encrypted black box simulation models that hide the details of the components while allowing accurate simulations with the T solver (see Figure 1).

The protected model appears as a box with all the inside details hidden, including the material properties and geometry of the ports. The model data and simulation results are securely encrypted on the disk. This model can be imported into other CST Studio Suite simulation projects and used by third parties in simulation without revealing what the component looks like.


Perfect Boundary Approximation (PBA)® is a proprietary conformal meshing technique allowing curved surfaces to be accurately meshed and simulated in a hexahedral mesh, without staircase elements. CST Studio Suite 2019 sees the official release of next-generation PBA. This meshing engine can handle even more complex CAD models than before, while reducing the number of mesh cells required for an accurate simulation. This increases both the robustness and speed of the time domain solver.


Figure 2

Figure 2 Human voxel model posed as a car driver.

Voxel models encode structure information in 3D using small cubic elements. They are widely used for detailed models of the human body for medical device design and exposure analysis. These models are usually supplied standing or lying; however, in scenarios for electronic devices, they may need to be in a variety of realistic poses (see Figure 2). A standalone CST tool for posing voxel models has been available for several years; with CST Studio Suite 2019, it is integrated directly into the 3D modeling interface. Human models can be imported into the simulation environment and posed to fit the system, whether raising the model’s hand to its head to hold a phone or bending the entire body to sit in a car seat.


Support for high performance computing (HPC) options such as GPU acceleration, distributed computing and MPI cluster computing allows users to perform extremely complex simulations, even when these involve large and detailed models, large numbers of ports or sweeps and optimizations over numerous parameter values. The 2019 version of CST Studio Suite expands the HPC offering in several ways. For hardware acceleration, CST Studio Suite 2019 supports the latest Nvidia accelerator cards, the Quadro GV100 and the Tesla V100, which can offer unprecedented performance on servers and workstations. The distributed computing controller has been optimized to improve the speed needed to process results. CST Studio Suite is also now available on an increasing number of cloud computing platforms, with specialist solutions such as Nimbix and UberCloud, as well as the public cloud providers AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform.


The 2019 release of CST Studio Suite offers its most versatile EM simulation offering, helping engineers working on complex products meet their goals, optimize performance and cut development time and cost. It marks a significant step toward full multiphysics simulation on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, allowing EM simulation to become a standard part of many industry workflows.

Dassault Systèmes SIMULIA