RF Design Tools Link EDA Simulation with Hardware Testing

The R&S VSESIM-VSS signal creation and analysis tool from Rohde & Schwarz and Cadence combines signal generation, design simulation and signal analysis to enable users to address design challenges earlier in the development process By DA Reporter / 01 Oct 2021
The new R&S VSESIM-VSS signal creation and analysis tool speeds up the development process from RF design to implementation

Rohde & Schwarz and Cadence Design Systems, Inc. have collaborated on a solution aimed at simplifying the engineering process from Radio Frequency (RF) design to implementation and enhancing accuracy by using realistic signals for both simulation and testing. 

The new R&S VSESIM-VSS signal creation and analysis tool speeds up the development process for RF components. It is designed for customers in the wireless, automotive, and aerospace and defense industries as well as for manufacturers of active components and systems.

As new wireless and satellite technologies have presented ever-wider frequency ranges and increasingly demanding requirements, the importance of realistic signal simulation in RF system design has continued to grow.

The joint solution combines signal generation, design simulation and signal analysis to enable users to address design challenges earlier than before in the development process.

The R&S VSESIM-VSS functions as an addition to the Cadence Visual System Simulator (VSS) software, a well-established solution for system simulation and modeling, particularly for RF components and RF assemblies used in wireless communications and radar design. R&S VSESIM-VSS is designed to expand the capabilities of the VSS software by adding realistic signals to the workflow, increasing simulation accuracy and simplifying the design process. 

R&S VSESIM-VSS benefits from two established software tools from Rohde & Schwarz for testing operative circuits, modules and devices – the signal generation capabilities of the R&S WinIQSIM2 simulation software and the signal analysis capabilities of the R&S VSE vector signal explorer software. R&S VSESIM-VSS combines these functions and adds plug-ins for Cadence Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools.

The data sink plug-in from Rohde & Schwarz provides access to the signal at any point in the design process. The signal can be transferred to a vector signal generator and applied to available hardware, enabling system level analysis of hybrid hardware/simulated implementations. An important feature of R&S VSESIM-VSS is support of Direct Digital Predistortion (DPD) techniques to verify the effects of linearization already in the simulation phase of power amplifier development.

An added benefit of combining the solutions is increased compatibility between Rohde & Schwarz and Cadence tools. Signal generation and analysis provided by the Rohde & Schwarz solutions can also be used in other connected Cadence products such as the Cadence Microwave Office circuit design software or the Cadence Virtuoso RF Solution for Radio-Frequency Integrated Circuits (RFIC) and RF modules.

“Connecting EDA design simulation and test and measurement helps our customers achieve first-pass design success and shorter times to market,” said Christina Gessner, Vice President Spectrum & Network Analyzers, EMC and Antenna Test at Rohde & Schwarz.

“Using realistic signals, deriving common figures of merit such as EVM and understanding linearization capabilities even before tape-out means a competitive advantage for our customers. We look forward to bringing the results of our cooperation with Cadence to the market.”

“Customers developing RF frontend communication ICs and systems require access to the latest communications standards,” added Vinod Kariat, corporate vice president of R&D in the Custom IC & PCB Group at Cadence.

“The joint solution from our companies enables our mutual customers to accurately analyze standard compliant signals throughout the design phase, including final test validation.”

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