Study High Speed Electronics

The high data rates and miniature scale of high-speed electronics require high signal and power integrity (SI/PI), with a low risk of interference or noise. As data rates increase, the signal frequency increases and signals propagate more like a high-frequency electromagnetic wave than a classical circuit current. Understanding the behavior of high-speed electronics goes beyond circuit simulation: it requires a full-wave 3D approach that can model these electromagnetic fields fully to help analyze the design of high-performance printed circuit boards.

Simulation in the EDA workflow

The “Virtual Twin” approach can replicate physical tests in the simulation environment. A Virtual Twin is a high-fidelity model of the system that includes all relevant data in one package. Common SI/PI tests such as IR dropeye diagram and bathtub plots can be replicated virtually, as can electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) test set-ups such as emissions measurement and bulk current injection (BCI).

Trustworthy Virtual Twins require accurate models. SIMULIA offers access to material databases with the properties of real proprietary substrates, and the ability to create custom materials from measured data using various material property models, such as frequency-dependent materials.

The electromagnetic simulation tools in CST Studio Suite can be integrated into EDA workflows using many industry-standard ECAD and MCAD tools, offering electronic engineers the ability to analyze SI/PI and EMC concerns at all phases of design: pre-layout, during layout and post-layout. Specialized tools provide engineers with rule-checkers and solvers needed to analyze integrated circuits (ICs), a printed circuit board (PCBs) and cables. General-purpose 3D solvers can simulate the entire board and the device as a whole.­­ The Broadband Macromodeling technology provided by IdEM enables SPICE model extraction from 3D electromagnetic field simulation. Conjugate heat transfer (CHT) simulation can be coupled to the electromagnetic simulation to analyze the thermal performance of electronics and to design cooling systems.

Electromagnetic Simulation in EDA

Signal Integrity Analysis

Signal Integrity (SI) is about maintaining the quality of data transmitted through a channel, allowing the digital pattern of ones and zeros to be reliably recovered from the analog signal. The main measure of this is the eye diagram – the shape formed on an oscilloscope by many random bits. Critical effects include jitter, loss and noise from sources such as crosstalk (interference between channels) and inter-symbol interference (interference between successive bits).

Statistical eye diagrams > Dassault Systèmes

Power Integrity Analysis

Power Integrity (PI) meanwhile is about ensuring that the voltage received at a component is within the tolerances and does not introduce interference. IR drop – the decrease in voltage across (PCB) power plane due to losses – is a common PI concern. Power electronics introduce switching noise – high-frequency variations in the voltage that can cause interference and SI problems. The placement of decoupling capacitors (decaps) can reduce noise and prevent its transmission.

3D full wave simulation captures the full behavior of a device and its electronics – including cables, PCBs and chip packages. It reveals potential issues that 2D and circuit simulation can miss, long before committing to manufacturing a physical prototype. Problems can be identified early, and the root causes of issues can be found and mitigated with the help of 3D visualization.

Power Integrity Simulation > Dassault Systèmes

Broadband Macromodeling

For an accurate Signal Integrity/Power Integrity (SI/PI) simulation of a complete electronic system, we must consider all the signal and power degradation effects. These include interconnect parasitic effects, coupling interference from nearby interconnects, reflections due to discontinuities, dispersive and non-ideal material properties.

Broadband macromodeling is a very efficient approach for modeling complex electronic systems. In macromodeling, the result of a 3D field simulation of an individual component translates to an equivalent model. We can use this model as a “block” in common circuit simulators (for example, SPICE), to carry out a detailed system-level EMC and SI/PI analysis including signal degradation effects.

Broadband macromodeling can be performed using the SIMULIA tools CST Studio Suite and IdEM. Based on scattering parameters (S-parameters) from a full-wave simulation in CST Studio Suite, IdEM extracts an accurate macromodel. Crucially, for any realistic simulation, IdEM can ensure that the extracted SPICE model is both passive – not amplifying signals or increasing total power – and causal – meaning the output signal never precedes the input.

Broadband Macromodel Comparison > Dassault Systèmes

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