Southeast University (SEU)

AWR’s First Annual Student Design Competition in China Yields Outstanding Results at Southeast University


University Profile

Southeast University (SEU), a key national university administered directly under the Ministry of Education, is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in China. It is one of the first universities accredited by the State Council to determine and approve the qualifications of professors, associate professors and doctorial supervisors. It is also one of the universities of Project 211 and Program 985 that is financed by the central government to build as a world-class university.

The Design Challenge

AWR believes the future of wireless design is with today’s EE students who will become tomorrow’s innovators. Early in 2013 AWR partnered with Southeast University to sponsor the first ever China Student Design Competition. The objective of the competition was to encourage students in China to become involved in the dynamic profession of microwave and RF engineering and to apply their knowledge to practical designs using the highly efficient AWR design methodology. The ease-of-use and powerful technologies integrated in the single AWR Design Environment™ sets AWR software apart from other conventional design software and uniquely positions it for use by students just starting out in the complex world of high frequency design.

Submissions were evaluated on a number of criteria, including originality of the application or the theory and clarity of presentation, as well as the effective usage of AWR software features. The designs were judged by Professors Hong Wei, Dou Wenbin and Yin Xiaoxing from Southeast University and AWR’s technical review board.

Many excellent papers were submitted and the competition was fierce, with Wang Lei’s power amplifier design emerging victorious.

The Solution

The winning paper discussed the use of AWR’s Microwave Office® software to design a power amplifier. The student used several key technologies within the software that proved essential to the success of his design, including load pull, ACE™ automatic circuit extraction, and smart wiring.

Overall, the AWR contest provided me with a deep level of knowledge about power amplifier design, as well as with the Microwave Office software. Communication and idea sharing that I experienced throughout the competition, both with AWR’s technical staff and with my fellow students, was invaluable. I learned a lot!

Following are remarks from an interview with winning student designer Wang Lei.

Why did you choose AWR?

Q: Describe your design experience using AWR software.
The Microwave Office software is particularly convenient to use. I design power amplifiers and I find that the load pull wizard is an essential tool. I also like that I can take advantage of ACE technology to analyze just the transmission characteristics, which often have problems of their own. The use of AWR’s software is more convenient than physical circuit debugging. Finally, my favorite function is smart wiring. Amplifier designers often encounter long transmission lines, which take up a larger space on the printed circuit board (PCB) and therefore need to be bent to save space. But bending takes much skill and experience, because if the lines are too close together, they will produce serious coupling effects. This kind of design in other software would be very tedious, but thanks to the smart wiring function in AWR, combined with the ACE functionality, I was able to very quickly and easily overcome these problems and successfully complete my design.

Q: Given your positive experience using AWR software for this winning design, do you think you’ll choose AWR for future design tasks?
I think I will inevitably choose AWR for my own subsequent design processes. The reason is very simple, I like to use it to do circuit design, it is easy to use and efficient, I save significant simulation and design time, and the simulation results are very accurate. AWR and its software are very trustworthy.

Q: Do you think the AWR design contest was a positive experience?
I started learning to use AWR in my first year of graduate school (about three years ago). Prior to entering the design contest, I knew little about all of the innovative technologies inside the Microwave Office software such as ACE, iNets™, X-models, etc., let alone how to use them. I send a heartfelt thank you to AWR Corporation for holding this contest; it has greatly benefited me and my fellow student design contestants in terms of skills and experience. The significance and importance of this contest is, I think, self-evident.

Q: Do you think you will participate in another AWR design contest?
My experience was so positive that I am very much looking forward to participating in another AWR design contest. It will provide me with the opportunity to learn more about AWR software use and updates. Even more importantly, I think what I need to do is teach other students and peers about these technologies that I have learned, and to share with them the convenience and efficiency AWR software has brought to me, so that more people can learn to do circuit design with AWR.