Electronic Design

Free RF Design Tool Includes Planar EM Analysis

The old adage "you get what you pay for" is usually meant to warn one away from deals that look too good to be true. But Ansoft's downloadable version of Ansoft Designer belies that assertion. The microwave and RF design tool keeps adding functionality, but its price remains the same—free.

Based on the latest commercial version of Ansoft Designer, the downloadable version, Ansoft Designer SV, provides students and professionals with a tool for applying basic circuit theories and techniques while building high-frequency (HF) engineering skills. This latest version of SV includes a planar electromagnetic solver (problem-size-restricted, however) and a complete HF linear circuit simulator.

Also included is a full set of linear component models; Ansoft's physics-based distributed and discontinuity models; an integrated schematic/layout editor; filter and transmission-line synthesis; a frequency-domain linear simulator; and a Smith-tool matching utility. The tool is based on a single database that supports fully synchronized design entry based on schematic, netlist, and/or layout editing.

Ansoft Designer SV comes with a large number of circuit models for lumped, ideal, and physical distributed microstrip, stripline, and coax transmission lines. Its device library, also included, features a set of vendor parts based on linear surface-mount passive and active models and S-parameters. The tool offers project compatibility with the full version of Ansoft Designer, so designers can resume work they began on the free version if they decide to purchase the commercial version.

Ansoft Corp

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