Get Amp'd

Today's RF amplifiers must meet challenging performance requirements such as bandwidth, efficiency, and linearity. The Cadence® AWR® software platform, with advanced design automation, robust harmonic-balance (HB) simulation for fast and accurate nonlinear analysis of RF/microwave circuits, and highly accurate device/circuit element models, provide designers with the tools to successfully bring products to market. 

Key Benefits


Accelerate design starts with powerful load-pull analysis and impedance-matching circuit synthesis


Accurately predict nonlinear behavior, including gain compression and intermodulation distortion, with robust HB analysis


Perform parametric design entry with an integrated schematic/layout editor, comprehensive element libraries, powerful graphing, customized scripting, optimization, and yield analysis

Solution Highlights

Design Management

Amplifier designs start with selection of an appropriate active device for the required frequency and performance targets, followed by the development of the necessary bias and impedance-matching circuitry. Biasing and load/source terminations have a strong influence over amplifier performance, hence design aids such as DC IV curve generation, load-pull analysis, and impedance-matching network synthesis play a critical role in accelerating early design activity.

Model Support

New semiconductor technologies come with the challenge of accurately representing transistor parasitic, nonlinear, and thermal behaviors in order to provide accurate amplifier simulation. Software vendors must work closely with leading semiconductor foundries and load-pull test system manufacturers to ensure that robust, simulation-ready models of the latest semiconductor devices are available for amplifier design.


Prior to tapeout, amplifier performance must be verified through computer-aided simulation, which relies on specialized measurements such as noise figure (NF) and small-signal transmission and reflection parameters (S-parameters), as well as the nonlinear power, gain compression, and efficiency response to large-signal stimuli. HB techniques capture the nonlinear behavior of RF/microwave power amplifiers (PAs) in the frequency domain, and with the advent of digital-modulation for communications systems, amplifiers may also need to be analyzed using circuit envelope techniques in order to simulate linearity metrics such as adjacent channel power ratio (ACPR) and error-vector magnitude (EVM).

Design Verification

Amplifier designers rely on RF-aware circuit simulation and frequency-dependent transmission line models, as well as circuit/electromagnetic (EM) co-simulation to provide embedded parasitic extraction and design verification. With hierarchical EM/circuit/system co-simulation, designers can perform in-situ EM analysis to capture and correct harmful parasitic couplings and resonances.

Associated Products


Optional features can be added to AWR RF/microwave design software to enhance engineering productivity, product performance, and speed time to market. From accelerating the initial RF design effort with leading network synthesis tools to significantly reducing simulation and optimization run times with parallel, distributed computing, these options ensure your organization gets the most out of its RF EDA investment and engineering resources.   

PDKs developed to work with AWR software are available from leading gallium arsenide (GaAs), gallium nitride (GaN), and silicon (Si) foundries.

The radar and 5G libraries support communication/radar signal generation and testbenches for power amplifier (PA) simulations of radar and 5G communications systems.