At RF & Hyper, Vector Fields is demonstrating two advanced new design software tools which dramatically reduce the entry costs to powerful electromagnetic CAE (computer aided engineering). The CAE packages, which start from under $5,000 per seat, open up the potential of virtual prototyping to much smaller electronics companies in the high frequency and RF sectors. Typical benefits include shorter design cycles, lower manufacturing costs, and superior performance.
Both of the packages are variants of the company’s new Concerto 6 software.
The first design tool, Concerto AS, is optimised for designing rotationally symmetric structures such as coaxial connectors. It simulates in two dimensions, which makes it extremely fast to use, and low cost – with the package selling for under $5,000 per seat.
Concerto AS will simulate a coaxial RF connector’s electromagnetic characteristics in typically less than five seconds. It achieves this speed by simulating an axisymmetric 2D slice from the 3D model of the component. This approach maintains compatibility with the full capabilities of 3D simulation software, allowing users to upgrade at any point in the future as the benefits of CAE are realised.
With Concerto AS’s extremely fast simulation 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. For example, users can 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.
The second new tool, Concerto ES provides a generic 3D electromagnetic design capability for under $19,000 per seat. It comes with a three-dimensional finite difference time domain (FDTD) solver. This has a very broad ranging applicability and is suitable for applications ranging from the design of complex microstrip and waveguide devices, to developing portable communications products with multi-band operation or antenna diversity, to understanding signal propagation. The design flexibility of the package is not restricted. The low entry price is achieved merely by limiting the size of model that can be simulated, to half a million cells. This solver is still highly efficient, thanks to Vector Fields’ flexible conforming mesh tool, which will automatically refine the mesh size used on the model.
“Investing in CAE is a step that can help companies to make revolutionary progress in design, rather than smaller-scale evolutionary steps,” says Vector Fields’ CEO, Kevin Ward. “With entry prices now as low as under $5,000, we believe this opens up virtual prototyping to everybody – even enterprises as small as one.”
Vector Fields is part of Cobham plc, an international company engaged in the development, delivery and support of advanced aerospace and defence systems for land, sea and air platforms. The company has five technology divisions and one in the service sector that collectively specialise in the provision of components, subsystems and services that keep people safe, improve communications and enhance the performance of aerospace and defence platforms.