Module Design

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NI AWR Design Environment provides a hierarchical framework that accurately captures the combined electrical performance of diverse integrated circuit (IC) and printed circuit board (PCB) process technologies, complex multi-layer interconnects, embedded passives, and surface-mounted devices found in today's multi-chip RF modules used within numerous wireless applications.

Hot Topics

  • New in v13 -

    • AXIEM/Analyst EM analysis speed and capacity improvements
    • Spectre netlist conversion and APLAC co-simulation for RFICs
    • Multiple technology enablements including support for multiple PDKs/LPFs, ongoing PDK releases, hierarchical EM simulation and enhanced EM Socket with bidirectional flows for third-party tools
  • Electromagnetic (EM) Modeling of off-chip components and packaging substrates in highly integrated 5G/LTE communications and aerospace RF front-end modules is critical to reducing RF loss and improving isolation from internal/external interferers.
    Learn more: Integrating EM Simulation Technologies Within an RFIC Design Flow
  • Design for Manufacturing addresses design sensitivity to specific component and manufacturing tolerances, compensating for the impact of these variations on the overall design performance and enabling designers to achieve a more robust product.  
    Learn more: Multi-chip Module (MCM) Design, Verification, and Yield Analysis (video)
  • T/R Modules, used in active phased-array antennas of radar systems and communication networks, utilize multiple-in and multiple-out (MIMO) and beam-steering technology to enhance capacity and data rates. With in-situ circuit/EM simulations, NI AWR software automatically accounts for coupling between the module and the antenna as the array impedance changes with the antenna pattern.
    Learn more: Addressing 5G and MIMO Design With Circuit/Antenna In-Situ Simulations 


Partition / Extract / Integrate

  • Visual System Simulator™ - Provides system architecture design for RF planning and design partitioning. Develop complete front-end systems or define/analyze system-in-package (SiP) die specifications with RF-aware models. VSS also combines with  RF circuit analysis and EM extraction for substrate and package-embedded passive device characterization in NI AWR Design Environment.
  • AXIEM and Analyst™ - Supports direct S-parameter extraction of transmission lines, ball-grid arrays, flip chips, wire bonds, and ribbon attachments for post-layout, final design-stage verification.
  • Microwave Office - Frequency and time-domain analysis simulates IC/package interactions between MMIC subcircuits and/or imported RFIC Spectre netlists with laminate matching, filtering, and signal routing to ensure optimum performance.

Circuit / System / EM Simulation Products

  • Microwave Office - Circuit analysis with linear and nonlinear frequency and time-domain simulation

    • Design capture with industry-leading tuning
    • Linear and nonlinear frequency- and time-domain simulation
      • APLAC harmonic balance for large-scale and highly nonlinear designs
  • AXIEM and Analyst - 3D planar and 3D finite element method (FEM) EM​​ analysis
  • EM Socket - Interoperability with third-party EM tools 
  • Visual System Simulator - Communication systems, circuit-envelope analysis, and design partitioning/integration

Models and Libraries

Manufacturing and Test

Supported Technologies

  • MCMs - Electronic package integrating RFICs, MMICs, and/or discrete components on a unifying substrate such as MCM-L, MCM-D, and MCM-C utilizing LTCC
  • SiP - Advanced packaging techniques to stack SiP die vertically or tile horizontally to achieve higher densities
  • System-on-Package (SoP) - Microelectronic technology that places an entire system on a single chip-size package including embedded passive RF components such as capacitors, filters, antennas, and high-Q inductors,
  • Hybrid Integrated Circuits (HIC) - Miniaturized electronic assembly composed of discrete packaged or un-packaged devices mounted on a substrate 
  • Front-End Modules (FEMs), Power Amplifier Modules (PAMs), and Antenna Switch Modules (ASMs) - Multi-chip module technologies partitioned into individual function blocks or entire T/R radio modules

Module Design - Video Gallery