Agilent EEsof enhances ADS

With its latest version of the Advanced Design System (ADS), known as Update 1, Agilent EEsof delivers on its commitment to double productivity over all previous versions of ADS. In this version, the company reports a 10x speedup in its 3D planar electromagnetic (EM) simulator (known as Momentum), and a 10X speedup in its non-linear harmonic balance circuit simulation with an advanced matrix preconditioner.

For example, in a circuit with 2032 nonlinear elements, 3473 linear elements, and 2048 sources, ADS Update 1 responds in 253 seconds, and earlier versions took 2485 seconds.

In another example with 456 nonlinear elements, 73484 linear elements, and 6 sources, response time with Update 1 was 367 seconds and 1018 seconds in earlier versions.

When I spoke with How-Siang Yap, Product Manager for ADS & Electromagnetic simulation platform, he assured me that designers do not have to take Agilent's word for it. They can repeat the company's productivity tests at a special web site: Agilent is measuring productivity in terms of simulation time, the number of mouse clicks required to complete a design, and the number of activities eliminated in the completion of a design task.

With this boost to productivity, the company hopes to help RFIC, RF module and high-speed gigabit serial-link designers take advantage of EM simulation for faster, more accurate design and signal integrity verification. “Our vision is for planar EM technology to become an interactive design tool, rather than a one-time sign off tool before you go into hardware.”

The new release also includes a new convolution simulator, which allows high speed digital components to be measured and used in the time domain for signal acquisition. In the past, designers had to create a spice equivalent circuit model before they could do the circuit simulation.

During our conversation, How-Siang Yap took me through an example. Take a circuit with eleven inductors that are widely and generously spaced on a WLAN transceiver chip. To reduce the cost of the chip, the designer wants to shrink it to 32% of the surface area previously used.

Of course, if you try to do this on the wafer, you have to make multiple layouts of the IC, then you need to probe and measure each of the variations to see if they are still workable as a transceiver. Instead, you can subject it to 3D planar EM simulation to simulate the effects of the closeness of the inductors. Using Update 1's new algorithm based on the NlogN matrix compression technique and multithreading with multi-core processor, designers realized a 3x improvement in speed, to 12 minutes (and using half the memory). When they performed a parallel simulation across different computers on the network (8-node cluster), the simulation time was reduced to 2.3 minutes.

Here is a summary of the improvements in Update 1:

  • 10x speedup in 3D Planar Electromagnetic Simulation (Momentum)
    • NlogN Compressed Matrix Solver
    • Up to 16x multi-threading in multi-core computers
    • Parallel computing across compute cluster
    • Guaranteed mesh robustness for EM simulation with layout pre-processing

    10x speedup in Non-Linear Harmonic balance circuit simulation with advanced matrix preconditioner

  • Patent-pending convolution technology extracts correct impulse response from measured S-parameter for fast hi-speed serial link signal integrity design
  • Support for accurate nano-scale RFIC simulation accuracy with latest PSP and HiSIM device models
  • Expanded signal integrity application coverage: Verilog AMS, HSPICE w-elements, Impulse response model generation, de-embedding component, IBIS switches

For more information about ADS 2008 Update 1, visit

To request a demo of ADS 2008 Update 1, visit

U.S. Pricing and Availability: Agilent's ADS 2008 Update 1 is expected to be available for download in July 2008, with prices starting at approximately $10,000.

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