Legrand uses the interactive layout capability in Microwave Office Design Suite to minimize the size of its PCBs


The RF Design Challenge in Legrand

Legrand’s develops integrated systems on printed circuit boards (PCBs) for the consumer market. Demand for smaller products is driving strict size constraint on PCBs within the products, therefore optimization of the PCB layout is critical. The ability to concurrently simulate both system and circuit performance is also important, as components designed in Microwave Office™ must be accurately modeled with input signals in various digital formats.

What design problem did NI AWR’s software help you to solve?

Visual System Simulator™ enabled us to pass complex digital signals through the amplifier sub-systems that we had designed in Microwave Office, and to check the effects of mismatch and compression on overall system performance. We were able to vary the values of individual components in the amplifier and see the effect on overall system performance.

What were your reasons for choosing NI AWR software?

We performed rigorous benchmarks on several RF simulation products – we selected AWR because the simulation results were the most accurate compared to measured results. The NI AWR Design Environment™ user interface was the most user-friendly, and even infrequent users found it especially easy to use. In addition, the unified database and automatic layout generation enabled us to optimize our layouts to meet the size constraints of our specifications.

What were the key benefits of using NI AWR software?

With the open architecture of the NI AWR design environment, integration to third party products such as CST’s 3D EM simulation software was easy and the co-simulation process using both Visual System Simulator and Microwave Office was simple. These unique technologies enabled us to produce a state-of-the-art consumer product in a package significantly smaller than our competitors.