Software adds features for power rail extraction in low-voltage, high-current designs

Ansoft Corp. released SIwave v3.5, a full-wave electromagnetic field simulator optimized for signal-integrity, power-integrity and electromagnetic interference (EMI) analysis of high-speed printed circuit boards (PCBs) and complex integrated circuit (IC) packages.


Pittsburgh, PA— Ansoft Corp. released SIwave v3.5, a full-wave electromagnetic field simulator optimized for signal-integrity, power-integrity and electromagnetic interference (EMI) analysis of high-speed printed circuit boards (PCBs) and complex integrated circuit (IC) packages. The new release features a fast and efficient finite-element-based dc solver optimized for extraction of power-rail geometry in complex low-voltage/high-current PCB and package designs. Engineers can view voltage and current distributions in all relevant geometry including vias and bond wires. In addition, users have access to voltage drop and current flow information through all layout elements (vias, bond wires, sources, resistors, inductors, etc.) in tabular format, allowing engineers to quickly identify design rule violations. Leveraging the company's adaptive mesh refinement technology, the software allows users to find layout problems quickly and warns of possible bond wire and via electromigration damage prior to the fabrication of a prototype.
"SIwave is a key technology for enabling the new era of mixed-signal electronics design driven by form-factor, functionality and integration," said Dr. Zoltan Cendes, chairman and chief technology officer of Ansoft. "Extreme integration in wireless handheld devices, for example, creates new challenges for RF performance, system signal integrity, system-level EMI, low power, and communications reliability. SIwave, combined with HFSS, Nexxim, and DesignerSI, form a system-design platform capable of addressing these challenges."
The company says that SIwave accurately simulates the electromagnetic behavior of complex PCBs and IC packages, including multiple, arbitrarily shaped power and ground layers and any number of vias and signal traces. The resulting full-wave S-, Y- or Z-parameters or GHz-bandwidth circuit model can be used in concert with time- and frequency-domain analyses within Nexxim and DesignerSI, or third-party SPICE-compatible circuit tools. Engineers can use it to extract a model for the complex interactions among traces on the board, the coupled impedances within the IC package and between package pins and the PCB. That model can then be used in a top-level circuit simulation to characterize the nonlinear behavior of an IC, including the package and board parasitics. This chip-package-board co-simulation is critical for reliable integrated electronics system performance.
The software runs on Microsoft Windows XP Professional; Windows XP Professional x64 Edition; Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition; Windows Server 2003 Standard x64 Edition; and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 and 4.
Edited by C.G. Masi , Senior Editor

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