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3D Components and Intellectual Property Protection

August 11, 2021

Antennas are all around us. From the smartphone in your hand and the Bluetooth® buds in your ears to autonomous vehicles and complex communication systems, antennas are a critical part of high-tech magic. Using electromagnetic simulation, designers evaluate antennas in-situ. Ansys 3D components offer designers more freedom than they’ve ever had before.

By design, antennas want to interact with their environment. Done right, an engineer designs and simulates an antenna on a real-world platform, so it’s easy to understand why antenna vendors want to see their components designed into products and tested against customer performance expectations. Unfortunately, sharing of virtual component models has been stunted by intellectual property concerns. Ansys 3D components with design encryption overcome this barrier and provide Johanson Technology an avenue to confidently collaborate with their customers.

Ansys Components

As early partners, Johanson Technology and Ansys piloted encrypted models for Ansys HFSS. The goal was to better secure components’ intellectual property while maintaining correlation in simulation. Success meant protecting the intellectual property of vendor components and customer designs without all the paperwork. “Correlation and reliability have always been there with Ansys software,” said Manuel Carmona, Sr. RF Product & Business Development Manager at Johanson Technology. “When we’re talking about encrypted models, the benefit is the freedom for designers to play with components on their own. We do simulate our antennas with customer designs, but there are times customers simply don’t feel comfortable sharing their models.”

Now, Johanson Technology’s encrypted 3D models are pre-loaded into the Ansys HFSS component library. From install, designers can easily drag and drop Johanson Technology’s components into their designs. “This software allows vendors like us to say, ‘What do you want? Here are the models, knock yourself out,’” said Carmona.

This level of autonomy is important for designers because antennas are sensitive components, and they don’t perform consistently in all cases. Depending on where a designer places an antenna on their board, and what they place around it, the response changes. As Carmona put it, “For the most part, the antennas are the antennas. They’re set. They’re off the shelf. The variable is the person designing the cellphone or the smartwatch. That person definitely has more variables in whatever they’re working on.”

The Ansys HFSS 3D components library also links directly to Johanson Technology’s website, so if a designer can’t find the component they’re looking for, they can request it directly from Johanson Technology. “Freedom is worth a lot,” said Gilbert Kuo, Product Development RF Engineer at Johanson Technology. “Designers don’t need to go through anyone else. They can take their time and play with the models on their own.”

When designers do need support, their experience experimenting with simulation allows them to ask targeted questions that get them to an answer fast. “Sometimes we get questions from customers who’ve already selected a Johanson antenna from the library in HFSS. They can say, ‘This is what I’m doing, and I’m not getting the result I should be getting.’ Then we can take a look at the problem they’re having. In a sense, it adds efficiency,” said Kuo.

For tips and tricks on creating, editing, managing, and sharing HFSS 3D components in your design and simulation flow, check out our recent webinar.