Vector Fields announces a novel electromagnetic design tool for coaxial devices such as connectors and attenuators. By providing two-dimensional electromagnetic simulation only, which is ideal for radially-symmetric RF components, the new tool eliminates fundamental barriers that have held back the adoption of CAE in this sector: the very high cost of conventional 3D electromagnetic software, and the long simulation times involved.
Called Concerto AS, the new software package is a variant of Vector Fields’ new high frequency Concerto toolsuite. It will simulate a coaxial RF connector in a few seconds, and costs around $5,000/seat. With this response speed, users can perform searching ‘what if?’ investigations in a matter of minutes to create optimal designs, cutting design costs, time to market, and often manufacturing costs as well.
The 2D simulation is used in a way that does not impose restrictions on users. Concerto AS accepts 3D drawings imported from CAD packages, and also comes with its own 3D geometric modeling tool. Once the 3D component design is available, the software takes an axisymmetric slice out of the design, for analysis by the 2D Finite Difference Time Domain electromagnetic solver. This approach maintains compatibility with the full capabilities of 3D electromagnetic simulation software, allowing users to upgrade at any point in the future as the benefits of CAE are realised.
Many coaxial connector companies do not have electromagnetic CAE support, because the entry costs, which can be $30,000 or more, are prohibitive. The benefits that this new entry level software is likely to generate for first-time users such as these, are designs that are not only more efficient, but much more manufacturable. This is because the sheer ‘what if?’ speed of Concerto AS allows users to explore and understand the effects that manufacturing variations, such as minor movements in position of materials and parts, will cause. As a result, component designs can be optimized for immunity to wide material, manufacturing and assembly tolerances.
Concerto AS supports TEM (transverse electromagnetic) simulation. The FDTD (finite difference time domain) solver used is widely recognised as the most efficient technique for this type of model. 2D coaxial connector simulations typically take less than five seconds to run. Even the most complex connector that Vector Fields has trialled on the software has taken only 15 seconds. This compares with perhaps 30-60 minutes for a full 3D simulation, providing an enormous time advantage when performing detailed investigations of a design.
Tools for adaptive solutions and model parameterization are included in the software. For example, key features of the component model can be defined as parameters rather than fixed values, allowing repeated analyses to be performed by simply changing a value or values in the model script. This also allows previously generated models to be treated as templates for new designs, simplifying routine design tasks such as those found in the coaxial connector sector where a component is often made available in many variations.
An adaptive solver is also included in Concerto AS. This can automatically refine the mesh size used on the model of the connector component, to reach a user’s target accuracy of solution.
Upgrade options include the addition of a sophisticated optimizer tool, which will automatically find the best solution for multiple parameters, and upgrade to the full 3D Concerto package.
The new Concerto AS tool is available immediately and cost around $5,000/seat. More information: Vector Fields
Vector Fields Ltd
24 Bankside, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1JE, UK
t: +44 (0)1865 370151
f: +44 (0)1865 370277
Vector Fields, Inc.
1700 N Farnsworth Ave
Aurora, IL 60505, USA
t: (630) 851-1734
f: (630) 851-2106