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Electromagnetic Suite Simulates PCB and IC Designs

ANSYS Inc. (Canonsburg, PA) recently announced an expansion of its ANSYS SIwave 3D electromagnetic (EM) simulation suite for the design of high-speed printed circuit boards (PCB) and integrated circuit (IC) packages that includes new functionality and three new, targeted analysis products: SIwave-DC, SIwave-PI and SIwave. ANSYS says that users of the SIwave suite will be able to quickly identify potential power and signal integrity problems with increased flexibility and easier access to a complete set of analysis capabilities that can be leveraged throughout the PCB design flow.

This ANSYS SIwave-DC screen image depicts a DC voltage drop analysis. Image courtesy of ANSYS, Inc.

This ANSYS SIwave-DC screen image depicts a DC voltage drop analysis. Image courtesy of ANSYS, Inc.

The company says ANSYS SIwave can be used to evaluate the entire design from package to board, including the coupling effects between traces, packages and boards. The software reportedly enables engineers to analyze signal and power integrity of an entire PCB from DC (direct current) up to frequencies beyond 50 GHz quickly and accurately. With the addition of ANSYS ALinks for EDA(formerly called AnsoftLinks for ECAD), SIwave integrates tightly with layout design tools from Altium,CadenceMentor GraphicsSigrity and Zuken.

The ANSYS SIwave suite employs a hybrid, full-wave finite element EM solver engine that, says ANSYS, delivers a complete signal integrity analysis solution in a single user interface. The company adds that key attributes of SIwave include virtual compliance as well as advanced simulation performance and high-performance computing (HPC) acceleration. Bi-directional links to ANSYS Icepak and ANSYS Mechanical toolsets let SIwave users predict temperature rise, thermal induced stress and structural integrity. SIwave analysis results can be output to ANSYS DesignerSIANSYS Simplorer or other SPICE-compatible tools for time- and frequency-domain analysis.

The SIwave-DC product is intended for DC analyses of low-voltage, high-current PCB and IC packages and, says ANSYS, enables engineers to assess critical end-to-end voltage margins for reliable power delivery. Users can perform pre- and post-layout DC voltage drop, DC current density and DC power density analyses. These capabilities, explains ANSYS, ensure that a power distribution network (PDN) can source the proper power to integrated circuits by checking that the PDN has the right bump, ball and pin sizes. It also checks and ensures for proper copper weighting to minimize losses, and it identifies areas of excess current resulting in thermal hot spots to reduce risk of field failure.

The ANSYS SIwave electromagnetic simulation suite’s new ANSYS SIwave-PI product provides functionality for analyzing and optimizing AC power delivery networks.Image courtesy of ANSYS, Inc.

The ANSYS SIwave electromagnetic simulation suite’s new ANSYS SIwave-PI product provides functionality for analyzing and optimizing AC power delivery networks.Image courtesy of ANSYS, Inc.

The SIwave-PI product has all the features of SIwave-DC and adds AC (alternating current) analysis features for modeling power delivery networks and noise propagation on PCBs. Said to use sophisticated genetic algorithms, SIwave-PI allows engineers to specify various constraints for consideration in its cost function, including capacitor price, total number of capacitors and desired network impedance.

SIwave-PI uses what ANSYS says are accurate frequency-dependent S-parameter capacitor models during simulation, and its full-wave electromagnetic extraction engine captures the impact of capacitor physical location and mounting technique. SIwave-PI also automates decoupling capacitor selection, placement and optimization for printed circuit boards and IC packages, which can significantly improve engineering productivity, according to the company.

The ANSYS SIwave suite offers end-to-end signal integrity and EMI analysis including electrostatic discharge. Image courtesy of ANSYS, Inc.

The ANSYS SIwave suite offers end-to-end signal integrity and EMI analysis including electrostatic discharge. Image courtesy of ANSYS, Inc.

The third product, SIwave combines all the functionality of SIwave-DC and SIwave-PI and offers an additional robust time-domain circuit simulation engine for end-to-end signal integrity design and compliance. With SIwave, signal integrity engineers can import electrical CAD geometry; extract GHz-accurate interconnect models for an IC package and PCB; include transistor level models of drivers and receivers; and run signal sign-off analysis, impedance matching and power delivery system optimization. This solution also includes common Input/Output Buffer Information Specification (IBIS) analyses such as “Power-Aware IBIS” and “IBIS-AMI,” which provides virtual compliance to design engineers.

“It’s becoming increasingly important for our customers to be able to quickly recognize potential pre- and post-layout power and signal integrity problems for today’s high-speed digital designs,” said Steven Pytel, product manager at ANSYS, in a statement accompanying the SIwave announcement. “In consultation with our customers, we identified demand for targeted analysis for DC, power integrity, and full systems. The new SIwave technology and workflow provide a complete set of analysis software based on the highest fidelity electromagnetic numerical analyses to address all aspects of PCB and IC package design.”

Shipments of the new ANSYS SIwave electromagnetic simulation suite begin shortly. To learn more about the new SIwave suite, visit ANSYS.

Learn more about the features of each ANSYS SIwave product.

Learn more about the options available for ANSYS SIwave.

Download the ANSYS SIwave brochure.

See why DE’s editors selected the ANSYS SIwave electromagnetic simulation suite as their Pick of the Week.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Desktop Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@deskeng.com.