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Using RF Simulation Technology for Analog Applications

Comments(3)Filed under: RF design, RF Simulation, Analog Smart, Analog SimulationThe particular nature of analog circuits puts restrictive requirements on circuit simulators. The EDA industry has introduced proven shortcuts to deliver simulation speed and accuracy for specific applications, e.g. Harmonic Balance for RF and partitioning for custom digital applications. These shortcuts do not cut it for the mainstream analog circuits, leaving analog designers with nothing but the good old transient analysis. Modern communication standards and advanced process nodes pose tough challenges on analog circuits, leading to higher expectations from transient simulators. Modern transient simulators such as Virtuoso APS met the challenge and significantly improved the transient analysis speed by making use of modern multi-core hardware. Still, the million dollar question is: can we avoid the transient analysis altogether. You may find the answer in one of the already proven simulation technologies, Periodic Steady State Analysis, originally developed for RF applications.

It is true that RF circuits come with their own challenges. They operate at high frequency and large dynamic range. They are vulnerable to parasitics, bond wires and packages and have tough requirements on noise and linearity. However, none of these challenges called for a special simulation technology. Periodic Steady State and Envelope analysis were developed to exploit another key feature of RF circuits: their periodic nature. RF circuits process very fast periodic signals such as a carrier or a local oscillator together with slow analog signals at baseband frequency. This situation is not limited to RF applications. A big group of analog circuits such as power management circuits, switched cap filters, switched mode power supplies process slow data signals in the presence of a fast periodic signal, the clock. Can these circuits also benefit from Periodic Steady State and Envelope analysis?

If you design power management circuits, power supplies, switched capacitor circuits or any other analog circuits that process analog data in the presence of a fast clock, then I'd like to invite you to the first webinar of our Analog Smart webinar series. In this webinar, analog simulation expert Art Schaldenbrand will teach you how RF simulation technologies can help you speed up your simulations without the slightest compromise of accuracy. This first webinar scheduled for next Monday will focus on DC-to-DC converters.

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By Frank Wiedmann on May 21, 2010
I am glad that Cadence is finally addressing this subject (see my earlier comments at for some possible applications).

By Frank Wiedmann on August 2, 2010
The recorded webinar is available at (registration required).

By ahmad on September 26, 2010
RF Simulation Technology for Analog Applications
RF Simulation

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