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.
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
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.
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).
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.
AWR Design Environment
The Cadence AWR Design Environment® platform provides a single, complete design environment that seamlessly integrates simulation and design technology and manages the circuit/system/EM components within a project, supporting schematic design entry and fully synchronized physical design and layout to define an antenna design and related RF circuitry.
AWR Microwave Office
Cadence AWR Microwave Office® circuit design software helps designers develop impedance-matching networks and antenna feed structures with RF/microwave linear circuit simulation, distributed transmission lines, and vendor component libraries, as well as design aids such network synthesis (optional), optimization, and tuning.
The Cadence AWR AXIEM® 3D proprietary full-wave planar EM simulator is based on method-of-moments (MoM) fast solver technology that readily analyzes planar antennas and arrays. AWR AXIEM software extracts S-parameters for voltage standing-wave ratio (VSWR), return loss, and radiation patterns, and provides visualization of EM fields and currents.
Cadence AWR Visual System Simulator™ (VSS) system design software, together with the phased array generator wizard, enables designers to quickly configure planar phased array or MIMO array systems, interactively modify designs to achieve the desired behavior, and then generate system diagrams and/or circuit schematics and EM structures for further, more rigorous analysis.
The Cadence AWR Analyst™ simulator enables designers to model arbitrary 3D structures such as horn and helix antennas with integrated 3D finite-element method (FEM) EM analysis to extract S-parameters for voltage standing-wave ratio (VSWR), return loss, and radiation patterns, and provides visualization of EM fields and currents.
Celsius Thermal Solver
The Celsius Thermal Solver supports electrothermal analysis of high-power RF designs through model information sourced from Microwave Office® circuit design software, including existing MMIC design data, geometries such as layout, material properties, and power dissipation data from RF simulation.
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.