Company: Keysight Technologies
Category: Test, Measurement & Inspection Product of the Year
As next-generation product designs become increasingly complex, the simulations required to verify electronic circuit and system designs can be massive and time-consuming. Designers need to verify the layout of their design as well as simulate for electromagnetic (EM) or thermal effects. As standards like double-data-rate (DDR) memory and peripheral component interconnect express (PCIe) require faster speeds and higher frequencies, the subsequent design complexities increase as well. The latest innovations in cloud technology have advanced to the world of design and simulation. With high-performance computing (HPC) and cloud simulation, PathWave Advanced Design System (ADS) users are cutting simulation times by over 80%.
Now equipped with design cloud simulation services, PathWave ADS software reduces simulation time, increases simulation test coverage, and provides access to scalable hardware resources in the cloud. This new software solution is leading the market in cloud HPC by providing parallel simulation capabilities across industries, solutions, and applications. PathWave ADS offers design automation capabilities from 5G wireless chipset devices to high-speed digital memory boards. The latest software release eliminates barriers to developing high-performance hardware products by enabling design engineers for mobile and computer chipsets to perform compute intense EM simulations with on-premise clusters or scalable cloud hardware.
One of the most time-consuming parts of EM simulations is running frequency sweeps. Using standard simulation methods, simulating a MMIC device at 26.5 GHz on a local machine took nearly three hours. Using cloud HPC on PathWave ADS, the simulation is distributed across multiple remote machines, and each machine solves for its frequency independently. With this process, simulation time is significantly reduced because the processing power isn’t dependent on a single machine. Moving the MMIC simulation example to the cloud accelerated the simulation time to 1 hour 13 mins, an improvement that is 2.5x faster. This improvement occurred with just a single machine. Depending on how many machines you are running at a time through the cloud server, you can drastically reduce your simulation time. When the designers performed the same simulation across eight machines, the simulation took 30 minutes ‘“ six times faster than simulating on a local computer.
The cloud simulation service also connects to the different design elements used in PathWave ADS, such as SIPro or EMPro, which provide in-depth EM analysis of your designs. In another example, standard simulation times for a DDR4 evaluation board took up to fifteen hours to run. The engineers had to wait overnight to view their results. With cloud HPC on PathWave ADS, they were able to simulate the same board in just two and a half hours. They ran eight parallel jobs in the cloud, leading to an EM simulation time reduced by 83%. Design engineers can now run multiple simulations in a single day, rather than having to wait overnight for simulation results.
Design workspaces can be gigabytes in size, but the simulation files you need may only be 10’s of megabytes in size. The entire workspace file is not necessary to run the simulation. By simulating over the cloud, PathWave ADS only sends the files that it needs in order to run the simulation. The software can run in any web browser, which is a great method for a team that uses multiple computers or works across multiple locations. Design teams can also have the Keysight cloud simulation service installed on a local PC or hardware. Once the simulation begins, the PC is decoupled from the software, and the simulation runs on the cloud. When the simulation is complete, the simulation files will be downloaded directly to your PC. In the meantime, users are free to utilize the PC without worrying about processing power. Furthermore, users can use the web service to check on the simulation while it is running.
As electronic device complexity increases and design cycles shrink, product development teams require new, innovative ways to shorten time-to-market. By cutting down design simulation times by over 80%, developers are able to advance their product from design to prototype much more quickly. Furthermore, with time saved in the design stage, users are achieving 100% board yield by catching critical errors before build-out. This saves teams months of time and work running board re-spins, as well as the monetary cost of each prototype built. PathWave ADS software improves simulation times, ensures design accuracy, and saves development costs.