A System Approach to Superior Design

5G represents the next milestone in mobile communications, targeting more traffic, increased capacity, and reduced latency and energy consumption through various technologies such as MIMO and beamforming antenna arrays, mmWave spectrum use, and carrier aggregation. Cadence® AWR® software helps engineers develop and integrate the technologies that will make these advances possible with features such as a proprietary phased array generator, standard-specific 5G signal waveforms, and virtual RF modulated testbenches for power amplifier analysis.

Key Benefits


Rapidly implement end-to-end communication systems based on digital signal processing (DSP)/RF behavioral models to optimize performance and cost tradeoffs


Assign individual component performance requirements based on system partitioning and link budgets


Insert simulated or measured component behavior into a system-level design to ensure overall performance

Solution Highlights


Design tools should offer pre-configured communication building blocks that allow baseband engineers to “drill down” into sources to verify and possibly modify physical-layer (PHY) 1 specifications. They should also offer high-level behavioral models that enable designers to initiate a new system design based on radio blocks with minimal performance details, which can be further defined as design information becomes available.


Designers require various simulation technologies to capture time-domain and digitally modulated frequency (circuit envelope) responses, link budget, and spurious analysis in order to capture the overall behavior of RF-to-baseband communications systems, inclusive of device nonlinearities and chain impairments.

Model Support

System designers require a comprehensive system model library that includes RF behavioral, file, and circuit-based models, DSP components for simulating different fixed-point formats, and channel and antenna models for over-the-air (OTA) fading and propagation simulations.


Pre-configured testbenches should allow systems engineers to simulate and optimize the performance of individual components based on peak-to-average ratio (PAR), adjacent channel-power ration (ACLR), error-vector magnitude (EVM), or any number of communication performance metrics. Designers also need to effectively evaluate the in-situ performance of other devices in the system for all current cellular standards and make EVM measurements on individual subcarriers and/or over the entire orthagonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) symbol. 

Associated Products


The 5G library supports 5G candidate signals implemented as parameterized blocks with source subcircuits and adjustable parameters such as carrier frequency, subcarrier spacing, number of subcarriers, filtering, and subcarrier mapping.

The phased array antenna generation wizard allows designers to rapidly configure a physical array, assign antenna radiation patterns derived from AWR AXIEM or Analyst EM analysis for the individual antenna elements, and model mutual coupling and edge/corner behavior. The wizard also allows designers to:

  • Specify link and feed performance
  • Incorporate gain tapering to reduce antenna side lobes
  • Investigate the impact of element failures on the overall array performance, providing real-time visualization of far-field radiation patterns from all these user-specified parameters
  • Automatically generate either a system or circuit-based network