Agilent Unveils X-Parameter Nonlinear Model Generation for Components

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) announced a breakthrough nonlinear modeling technique for components such as amplifiers and transistors that are commonly used in the wireless and aerospace defense industries. The X-parameters can be generated either from simulation with the company’s Advanced Design System (ADS) EDA software or from Agilent’s test and measurement instruments, for faster communications-product development.

Agilent X-parameter nonlinear model generation technologyIn the past, designers could not accurately measure, display and simulate the full amplitude and phase information of each spectral component in nonlinear designs. They also did not have access to a highly accurate nonlinear behavioral model that fully characterizes and describes the nonlinear behavior of their devices. Now, X-parameters make it simple to capture nonlinear behavior with the same ease and accuracy as measuring or simulating linear S-parameters. Agilent’s new patent-pending X-parameter technology allows designers to capture the nonlinear behavior of active components such as amplifiers and transistors and save them in transportable RF intellectual property for use in RF system or circuit designs in ADS.

“Literally in five minutes, you can generate a nonlinear X-parameter model from an off-the-shelf amplifier by measuring it with Agilent’s Nonlinear Vector Network Analyzer (NVNA), and you can start doing nonlinear designs with it in ADS immediately,” said Jason Horn, R&D engineer with Agilent’s High-Frequency Technology Center, and one of the inventors of X-parameter technology.

Advanced Design System enables X-parameter nonlinear model generation from simulation, allowing design houses to create nonlinear X-parameter models of their RFIC and MMIC; power amplifier modules (PAMs); front-end modules (FEMs); and multiport devices such as mixers. This allows RF and microwave system designers to fully characterize systems early in the design cycle and before the hardware is fabricated. X-parameter models protect the intellectual property from which they are generated while retaining the full nonlinear characteristics to share with circuit and system design partners. This technology helps save time and speed products to market all along the design chain.

“System integrators can quickly simulate X-parameter RF modules and provide fast feedback to component suppliers before hardware is committed,” said Jack Sifri, product marketing manager with Agilent’s EEsof EDA division. “This represents a potential design-house savings of at least $1 million in reduced IC foundry turns and development costs, along with months of savings in development cycle time. Early beta customers representing key IC design houses and handset manufacturers are enthusiastically embracing X-parameters. The X-parameters provide a compact language with which to communicate and simulate nonlinear characteristics accurately with full IP protection.”

Users can also generate X-parameter models with load pull characteristics — for accuracy over a wide range of terminating impedances — from ADS simulation or from measurement on an Agilent NVNA using the load-pull system from Maury Microwave Corp. With load-pull X-parameter models, designers can accurately simulate and optimize critical transceiver and power amplifier specifications such as cascaded output power, power added efficiency, error vector magnitude and adjacent channel power ratio, eliminating months of prototype iterations with off-the-shelf components.

For more information about the Advanced Design System and X-parameters, visit
To request a demo and get more information about X-parameters, visit

About Agilent EEsof EDA Software
Agilent EEsof EDA is an industry-leading provider of RF-mixed signal circuit and system-design software. The software is compatible with and is used to design the company’s test and measurement equipment. Additional information about Agilent’s EDA software is available at

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) is the world’s premier measurement company and a technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company’s 20,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $5.8 billion in fiscal 2008.