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New Time-Saving Feature in IC6.1.4 ISR2: Plot S-Parameter Data Directly From ViVA!

Comments(0)Filed under: RF design, Circuit design, Virtuoso Spectre, RF designer, Spectre, Spectre RF, Harmonic Balance, RFIC, MMSIM, PSS, ViVA, ADE-L
If you haven't heard about it....there is a new feature in IC6.1.4 ISR2 which makes troubleshooting circuits containing nports (s-parameters ) much easier and faster!
Starting in IC6.1.4 ISR2,  you can now plot s-parameters directly in ViVA (without having to create a test bench and run a Spectre sp simulation). 
This is a fantastic time-saver!
Why would I want to use this?
  • You may want to view the s-parameter data in the frequency domain prior to time domain simulation to verify that the s-parameter data is reasonable. The s-parameter data may be measured from lab equipment (Vector Network Analyzer), from simulation data, or from an EM field solver.
  • What often happens is when your time domain simulation (pss, harmonic balance, transient, etc. analysis) fails or the simulation results aren't reasonable, you want to look at the s-parameter data file contents to see if there's a problem...  perhaps the data resolution is poor, the data is noisy, etc. 
The old way:
Prior to IC 6.1.4 ISR2, in order to view the "native" s-parameter data, you had to
  • Create a schematic test bench containing an nport with the appropriate number of ports
  • Run an sp analysis.
  • Plot the results in the Direct Plot form.
For 2-port s-parameter data, this was an inconvenience  (15 minutes) .   
For a large package model with (say) 25 to 200 ports, this was just downright PAINFUL. (an hour or more). 
The new way:
Now in IC 6.1.4 ISR2, you can plot s-parameter data directly from the ViVA Results Browser in just a minute or two by:
  • File-Open Results
  • Load the s-parameter data file.
  • Plot the s-parameters
Yes, it is that simple!!! 
Limitations:
  • The s-parameter must follow the naming convention filename.snp where n is the number of ports
  • Only Touchstone format is supported at this time.  (Spectre and CITIfile formats to be supported in the future).
  • Linear 2 port noise parameters cannot be plotted (This should be fixed soon.) 
  For more information, please see Cadence Online Support solution 11640878.

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