|Published on:||August 24th, 2020|
|With:||Eric Miller & Josh Stout|
In this episode your host and Co-Founder of PADT, Eric Miller is joined by PADT’s Application & Support Systems Engineer, Josh Stout for a discussion on the unique capabilities of Ansys Sherlock, and what’s new for the tool in 2020 R2.
If you would like to learn more about this update, you can view Josh’s webinar on the topic here: https://www.brighttalk.com/webcast/15747/428230
If you have any questions, comments, or would like to suggest a topic for the next episode, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org we would love to hear from you!
In this article, I would like to introduce some new features added to the Ansys Electronics Solution 2020R2 release called SPISim. Since this is a new tool, I’ll focus on describing its capabilities as well as some possible applications.
Signal, Power Integrity and Simulation (SPISim) focuses on system-level and on-chip SI/PI modeling, simulation, and analysis. The tool presents a variety of different features, which are split on separate modules shown below.
Let us look at each module individually and highlight the key functionality.
There are 2 main Modules VPro and MPro. All the other features (sub-modules) are split between these main two.
This is a versatile GUI for viewing waveforms. It supports a wide variety of formats including .tr0, .ac0, .ibis, .csv, .mat, .raw, .snp, .citi, and more. Besides simple viewing capabilities, VPro can also be used for waveform analysis:
DPro (short for DDR Pro) provides comprehensive DDR related post-processing analysis. Key functionalities of this tool:
The feature is organized in a wizard-like style. The user simply needs to fill out information in 6 tabs and click the ‘Run’ button. Overall, it is very intuitive to use, but like any new features, there is a learning curve for a new user.
It provides comprehensive transmission line related modeling, analysis, post-processing, and viewing capabilities. Here are several main functionalities offered by this add-on:
This feature helps the user to run pre-layout ‘what-if’ analysis. Both ‘transmission line analyzer’ and ‘layer stackup planner’ give the user a flexible way of understanding potential design constrains and guidelines.
This module is similar to TPro in a sense of the capabilities. However, it is directed to view and analyze S-parameters instead of tabular transmission line data. Also, in contrast to TPro, this feature has a separate tab ‘S-Param’ with all the features listed there.
Here are major capabilities of SPro:
Besides the conceptual similarities with the TPro, S-parameter’s waveform viewer based on VPro waveform viewer. Therefore, all operations available in VPro can also be found in S-parameter viewer.
This tool allows the user to generate a signal and use it in a future analysis. The generator offers wide variety of signal patterns (such as PRBS, Pulse, Sine, Square, Sawtooth etc) in combination with the PAM4 and NRZ modulation schemes. The user needs only to specify parameters for the signal and then create it.
This simple, but very powerful feature helps to save time for the engineer.
By definition, MPro is a modeling unit, which helps the user to work with the data. However, modeling can mean different things. The main advantage of MPro is providing the user with the simple environment for data manipulation. Here are all main functionalities of this core module:
BPro is one unit, however in this description I have purposefully separated it into two – BPro IBIS and BPro AMI, because the functionality of BPro is very broad. It is easier to focus on a one thing at a time.
Generally, BPro brings comprehensive IBIS related modeling, analysis, post-processing, and viewing capabilities to user. In more detail:
Under ‘IBIS’ menu tab, the user will find separate sets of commands for both IBIS and AMI, as well as commands for IBIS-AMI in general.
This new addition to Ansys Electronics Solution brings a very wide variety of features to engineers. All Waveform Viewer, Signal Generator, IBIS-AMI modeling, DDR analysis, Data optimization, and Transmission line planner are united under one tool – SPISim. We can launch this tool either from within Ansys 3D Layout or SIwave, and, in 2020R2, is accessible through the Electronics Enterprise license.
Here is an overview of the SPISIm functionality:
Besides developing the help documentation and video demos, SPISim engineer team provides users with the detailed information about the tool in their blog – http://www.spisim.com/blogs/blog-articles-index/ and helps to fill out the technical ‘gaps’ by sharing the reference material – http://www.spisim.com/products/ami-spisims-ibis-ami/academic-serdes-ami-reference/
If you would like more information related to this topic or have any questions, please reach out to us at email@example.com.
Ansys Sherlock automated design analysis software is the only Reliability Physics/Physics of Failure (PoF)-based electronics design analysis software that provides fast and accurate life predictions for electronic hardware at the component, board and system levels in early design stages. A unique, powerful capability of Sherlock is its revolutionary ability to rapidly convert electronic CAD (ECAD) files into CFD and FEA models with accurate geometries and material properties.
Through its powerful parsing engine and embedded libraries containing over 500,000 parts, Sherlock reduces pre-processing time from days to minutes and automates workflows through its integration with Ansys Icepak, Ansys Mechanical and Ansys Workbench.
With its extensive parts/materials libraries, Sherlock automatically identifies your files and imports your parts list, then builds an FEA model of your circuit board in minutes. It also produces a holistic analysis that is critical to developing reliable electronics products. It enables designers to simulate each environment, failure mechanism and assembly that a product might encounter over its lifespan.
Join PADT’s Systems Application & Support Engineer Josh Stout for an introduction to this powerful tool along with a look at what new features and updates have been added in the Ansys 2020 R2 version.
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ANYSY HFSS provides many options for creating non-planar and conformal shapes. In MCAD you may use shapes such as cylinders or spheres, and with some steps, you can design you antennas on various surfaces. In some applications, it is necessary to study the effect of curvatures and shapes on the antenna performance. For example for wearable antennas it is important to study the effect of bending, crumpling and air-gap between antenna and human body.
One of the tools that HFSS offers and can be used to do parametric sweep or optimization, is “Draw equation based surface”. This can be accessed under “Draw” “Equation Based Surface” or by using “Draw” tab and choosing it from the banner (Fig. 1)
Once this is selected the Equation Based Surface window that opens gives you options to enter the equation with the two variables (_u, _v_) to define a surface. Each point of the surface can be a function of (_u,_v). The range of (_u, _v) will also be determined in this window. The types of functions that are available can be seen in “Edit Equation” window, by clicking on “…” next to X, Y or Z (Fig. 2). Alternatively, the equation can be typed inside this window. Project or Design Variables can also be used or introduced here.
For example an elliptical cylinder along y axis can be represented by:
This equation can be entered as shown in Fig. 3.
Variation of this equation can be obtained by changing variables R1, R2, L and beta. Two examples are shown in Fig. 4.
To make use of this function to transfer a planar design to a non-planar design of interest, the following steps can be taken:
A new wave port can be defined by the following steps:
Similar method can be used to generate (sin)^n or (cos)^n surfaces. Some examples are shown in Fig. 11. Fig. 11 (a) shows how the surface was defined.
Bending a substrate can change the transmission line and antenna impedance. By using equation based port the change in transmission line impedance effect is removed. However, the overall radiation surface is also changed that will have effects on S11. The results of S11 for the planar design, cylindrical design (Fig. 8), cos (Fig. 11 b), and cos^3 (Fig. 11 c) designs are shown in Fig. 12. If it is of interest to include the change in the transmission line impedance, the port should be kept in a rectangular shape.
Equation based curves and surfaces can take a bit of time to get used to but with a little practice these methods can really open the door to some sophisticated geometry. It is also interesting to see how much the geometry can impact a simple antenna design, especially with today’s growing popularity in flex circuitry. Be sure to check out this related webinar that touches on the impact of packaging antennas as well. If you would like more information on how these tools may be able to help you and your design, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also click here to download a copy of this example.
Considered the “largest gathering of chip, board, and systems designers in the country,” with over 5,000 attendees this year and over 150 technical presentations and workshops, DesignCon exhibits state of the art trends in high-speed communications and semiconductor communities.
Here are the top 5 trends I noticed while attending DesignCon 2017:
This is of course a continuing trend and the most obvious. Still, I like to see this trend alive and well because I think this gets a bit trickier every year. Aiming towards 400 Gbps solutions, many vendors and papers were demonstrating 56 Gbps and 112 Gbps channels, with no less than 19 sessions with 56 Gbps or more in the title. While IC manufacturers continue to develop low-power chips, connector manufacturers are offering more vented housings as well as integrated sinks to address thermal challenges.
PAM4 was everywhere on the exhibition floor and there were 11 sessions with PAM4 in the title. Shielded twinaxial cables was the predominant conductor-based technology such as Samtec’s Twinax Flyover and Molex’s BiPass.
A touted feature of twinax is the ability to route over components and free up PCB real estate (but there is still concern for enclosing the cabling). My DesignCon 2017 session, titled Replacing High-Speed Bottlenecks with PCB Superhighways, would also fall into this category. Instead of using twinax, I explored the idea of using rectangular waveguides (along with coax feeds), which you can read more about here. I also offered a modular concept that reflects similar routing and real estate advantages.
Don’t get me wrong, optical-based signaling is still a strong solution for high-speed channels. Many of the twinax solutions are being designed to be compatible with fiber connections and, as Teledyne put it in their QPHY-56G-PAM4 option release at DesignCon, Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) and IEEE are both rapidly standardizing PAM4-based interfaces. Still, the focus from the vendors was on lower cost conductor-based solutions. So, I think the question of when a full optical transition will be necessary still stands.
With that in mind, this trend is relative to what I saw only a couple years back. At DesignCon 2015, it looked as if the path forward was going to be fully embracing optical-based signaling. This year, I saw only one session on fiber and, as far as I could tell, none on photonic devices. That’s compared to DesignCon 2015 with at least 5 sessions on fiber and photonics, as well as a keynote session on silicon photonics from Intel Fellow Dr. Mario Paniccia.
As margins continue to shrink, the demand for accurate simulation grows. Dr. Zoltan Cendes, founder of Ansoft, shared the difficulties of electromagnetic simulation over the past 40+ years and how Ansoft (now ANSYS) has improved accuracy, simplified the simulation process, and significantly reduced simulation time. To my personal delight, he also had a rectangular waveguide in his presentation (and I think we were the only two). Dr. Cendes sees high-speed electrical design at a transition point, where engineers have been or will ultimately need to place physics-based simulations at the forefront of the design process, or as he put it, “turning signal integrity simulation inside out.” A closer look at Dr. Cendes’ keynote presentation can be found in DesignNews.
5. More Detailed IC Models.
This may or may not be a trend yet, but improving IC models (including improved data sheet details) was a popular topic among presenters and attendees alike; so if nothing else it was a trend of comradery. There were 12 sessions with IBIS-AMI in the title. In truth, I don’t typically attend these sessions, but since behavioral models (such as IBIS-AMI) impact everyone at DesignCon, this topic came up in several sessions that I did attend even though they weren’t focused on this topic. Perhaps with continued development of simulation solutions like ANSYS’ Chip-Package-System, Dr. Cende’s prediction will one day make a comprehensive physics-based design (to include IC models) a practical reality. Until then, I would like to share an interesting quote from George E. P. Box that was restated in one of the sessions: “Essentially all models are wrong, but some are useful.” I think this is good advice that I use for clarity in the moment and excitement for the future.
By the way, the visual notes shown above were created by Kelly Kingman from kingmanink.com on the spot during presentations. As an engineer, I was blown away by this. I have a tendency to obsess over details but she somehow captured all of the critical points on the fly with great graphics that clearly relay the message. Amazing!