Agilent claims simulation breakthrough for non-linear circuits

SAN FRANCISCO — Agilent Technologies Inc. Thursday (Feb. 16) claimed a breakthrough in its core EDA frequency-domain simulation technology that it said provides crucial circuit performance information that can help avoid design errors.

Agilent (Palo Alto, Calif.) also announced a trade-up program for customers to receive complete credit for eligible competitive tools, providing easy access to this simulation technology.

“With this technology breakthrough, we have extended the reach of harmonic balance simulation to highly non-linear circuits,” said Steve Chen, research and development manager with Agilent's EEsof EDA division, in a statement. “In testing we now solve 90 percent of customer-supplied large and complex circuits, such as direct-conversion receivers, prescalers and complex LO generation networks, when in the past we solved roughly 50 percent of these types of circuits.”

According to Agilent, digital divider circuits are examples of highly non-linear circuits used as part of larger, mixed-signal and RF circuits, such as transceivers for cellular phones. In the past, these highly non-linear digital dividers and their attendant simulation problems often prevented a complete chip simulation in mixed-signal and RF circuits, the company said. Now, these complex chip circuits simulate and converge quickly — shortening design cycles and, in many cases, eliminating an entire design turn, Agilent said.

Agilent said the core circuit simulation technology of its Advanced Design System (ADS) platform is frequency-domain harmonic balance. Compared with weakly non-linear circuit simulators, Agilent said, its solution delivers advanced simulation technology across the full spectrum of non-linear operation. This enhancement, the company said, extends Agilent's RF simulation reach to the most complex simulation tasks and provides analysis capabilities such as phase noise analysis.

This enhanced harmonic balance simulation technology is available as an update to the ADS platform and RF Design Environment simulation software packages, Agilent said.

“Our ability to do both RF and divider simulations together, rather than doing each one separately, increases the likelihood of a successful chip fabrication for our customers and shortens development time,” said John Barr, EEsof product manager. “We expect the new trade-up program to make acquiring these innovative capabilities an attractive option for designers looking for better design flow efficiency.”

For a limited time, Agilent said, users of competitive tools may receive a credit of up to 100 percent of the purchase price of their current software toward the purchase of select ADS or RF Design Environment products. Eligible items for this trade-up program include Xpedion Golden Gate, AWR Analog Office and Ansoft Nexxim products, the company said.

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