Inside Frequency Control

18 CAD Tools Every RF and Microwave Design Engineer Should Consider

Posted by Bliley Technologies on Jul 28, 2016 8:32:06 AM

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RF and Microwave Design can be Enjoyable!

Don't believe me? Many of us already know how designing can easily become extremely long, boring, and tedious. This is especially true for all you RF and Microwave Design Engineers!

Spending hours upon hours designing, finding problems, fixing problems, then repeating the process all over again...It all can become so mentally draining.

Download FREE RF Design Guidelines

Am I bringing back bad memories? Sorry, time for the good news...

So how can you make the long and tedious design process easy (and possibly even enjoyable)? 

You guessed it... Automation and design tools are key. 

Having some great design tools on your side can release a significant burden off your back. These tools can save you time and dramatically increase your productivity. Our Top 4 Productivity and collaboration tools will help skyrocket your productivity even further.

Today, we thought we'd help you out by sharing these 18 CAD design tools that can lead to a more simple & enjoyable design session.  

1. Advanced Design System (ADS)

Advanced Design System is the world’s leading electronic design automation software for RF, microwave, and high speed digital applications. In a powerful and easy-to-use interface, ADS pioneers the most innovative and commercially successful technologies, such as X-parameters and 3D EM simulators, used by leading companies in the wireless communication & networking and aerospace & defense industries.

2. Microwave Office

Renowned for its intuitive user-interface, the unique architecture of Microwave Office software seamlessly integrates powerful, innovative tools and technologies with application-specific tools from partner companies to bring their high-frequency designs to life quickly and easily. Microwave Office software represents the future of high-frequency design.

3. PADS

Geared toward PCB designers and engineers looking for high-value, production-proven tools, PADS Standard provides schematic design and layout capabilities in an intuitive and easy-to-use environment. PADS Standard is ideal for less complex board design, and where cost is a high priority.

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4. Cadence

Cadence® is a leading provider of EDA and semiconductor IP. Their custom/analog tools help engineers design the transistors, standard cells, and IP blocks that make up SoCs. Their digital tools automate the design and verification of giga-scale, giga-hertz SoCs at the latest semiconductor processing nodes.

5. HFSS

ANSYS HFSS software is the industry standard for simulating 3-D, full-wave, electromagnetic fields. Its gold-standard accuracy, advanced solvers and high-performance computing technologies make it an essential tool for engineers tasked with executing accurate and rapid design in high-frequency and high-speed electronic devices and platforms.

6. Electronics Workbench

Electronics Workbench delivers widely used schematic capture and circuit simulation software with an installed base of more than 180,000. The product portfolio includes software for schematic capture, circuit simulation (SPICE, VHDL, and patented cosimulation), PCB layout, and autorouting.

7. Altium

By incorporating all the tools engineers and PCB designers need into a single, stress-free user interface, Altium Designer dramatically increases design successes, while reducing overall design times. From concept to PCB design, 3D modeling, and output generation for final manufacture, Altium Designer provides an efficient, powerful workflow for board-level electronics designers.

8. L-Edit

L-Edit is a complete analog/mixed-signal IC physical design environment that is flexible and highly configurable. Create layouts that match the schematic the first time, maximizing efficiency and reducing the CAD manager’s support burden.

9. S-Edit

User-friendly schematic capture environment for even the most complex analog/mixed-signal designs. Tanner S-Edit schematic capture increases your design productivity while handling the most complex IC designs.

10. Ansoft Designer

Ansoft, now a division of ANSYS Inc., had developed a new design environment from the ground up, integrating what had been separate circuit, system and planar EM simulation products. The product addressed high frequency design by offering a hierarchical approach to simulating complex distributed networks directly within the context of a circuit.

11. Microwave Soft

MicrowaveSoft Inc. offers solutions for electromagnetic design challenges. They provide you with full wave 3D finite element simulation software both for high and low frequency. If you are a SolidWorks user your life will be so easy as both of their softwares are fully integrated inside SolidWorks.

12. AutoCAD

The forefront of design. Create stunning designs and improve collaboration with innovative productivity tools in AutoCAD® software.

Take an interactive AutoCAD guided tour HERE

13. Eagle

Eagle PCB designer incorporates multiple tools including a Schematic Editor, Layout Editor, and Autorouter for a great, all-in-one, designing experience. 

14. OrCAD

OrCAD® PCB solutions provide a complete environment from initial schematic to final artwork. The platform delivers a complete, integrated workflow. Unlike other PCB solutions, OrCAD has the ability to grow with evolving design challenges providing the security of scalability for future challenges.

15. HSpice

HSPICE is the industry's "gold standard" for accurate circuit simulation and offers foundry-certified MOS device models with state-of-the-art simulation and analysis algorithms.

16. Calibre

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Calibre® xACT™ delivers high performance parasitic extraction for digital, custom, analog and RF designs. With its integrated fast 3D field solver and highly parallel architecture, Calibre xACT provides attofarad accuracy with the performance needed for multi-million instance designs.

17. Micro-Cap

The multi-page hierarchical schematic editor makes it easy to sketch a circuit. Once a circuit is created, you can do a transient, AC, DC, transfer function, sensitivity, or distortion with a simple command. The editor features stepping, scaling, panning, multiple-object selection, rotation about three axes, mirroring, clipboard functions, and multistage undo and redo.

18. MATLAB

Millions of engineers and scientists worldwide use MATLAB® to analyze and design the systems and products transforming our world. It is used for machine learning, signal processing, image processing, computer vision, communications, computational finance, control design, robotics, and much more.

Secret Bonus Tool: FindChips

FindChips.com is anther great resource to save you a ton of time when searching for RF and Microwave components for your design. It's like Google but for RF and MW Design Engineers. Read more about it HERE.

*All above descriptions taken directly from company/ linked website 

What design tools do you use? Are there any great tools that we missed on our list? Leave us a comment below!  

You Got the Tools...Now What?

Now that you've got the tools, consider learning these 5 simple steps to insanely effective design reviews to significantly reduce errors in your designs. 

 Download FREE RF Design Guidelines

 

 

Topics: innovation, engineering

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