The Designer's Guide Community Forum
Design >> RF Design >> Best RF/MMIC design simulator ?

Message started by sam on Oct 13th, 2003, 12:49pm

Title: Best RF/MMIC design simulator ?
Post by sam on Oct 13th, 2003, 12:49pm

Dear fellas,

Our research group is in the verge of purchasing an RF design/simulation software.  
and we would like to be sure to make the right choice.
Therefore, I wonder what's the cons and pros of the difefferent commercial packages.

Many thanks,


Title: Re: Best RF/MMIC design simulator ?
Post by skippy on Oct 14th, 2003, 9:56pm

A long, long time ago I used Libra at the University of South Florida Microwave Lab (They worked on MMIC's).  You may want to contact them and see what they recommend now.

I think that Agilent ADS is well recognized for its extensive features and is descended from Libra and MDS.  Ansoft competes in this market as well.

Title: Re: Best RF/MMIC design simulator ?
Post by Paul on Oct 14th, 2003, 11:48pm

For IC design (low freq and RF), I personnally like the Eldo simulator (from Anacad/MGC) because of its extensive command language. But try to avoid the Mentor Graphics schematic editor and other GUIs. Eldo can be perfectly embedded in the Cadence Framework.


Title: Re: Best RF/MMIC design simulator ?
Post by Frank Wiedmann on Oct 15th, 2003, 12:20am

Some of the major vendors to look at are probably Cadence (SpectreRF), Agilent (ADS), Mentor (EldoRF), and Ansoft (Ansoft Designer).

Which one is best for you will depend on your exact requirements. For example, the time-domain approach for Periodic Steady-State simulation used by SpectreRF seems to have some advantages for very nonlinear circuits like they typically occur in wireline communications. On the other hand, Harmonic Balance, which is used by the other simulators, may have some advantages for pretty linear circuits which are typical for wireless RF.

For integrated-circuit design, the Cadence framework seems to be more or less the industry standard. EldoRF can be integrated pretty well into this framework. The RFDE product from Agilent provides a link between ADS and the Cadence framework.

Title: Re: Best RF/MMIC design simulator ?
Post by Ken Kundert on Oct 15th, 2003, 1:35am

The leading RF simulator is SpectreRF. The leading MMIC simulator is ADS. SpectreRF is best known for its high capacity and its ability to handle strongly nonlinear circuits (it can even be used on circuits such as switched capacitor filters and digital blocks). ADS is best known for its ability to handle distributed component models. SpectreRF tends to be used for the core of the tranceiver, whereas ADS is primarily used to simulate outlying circuits such as the PA.


Title: Re: Best RF/MMIC design simulator ?
Post by Duncan_Widman on Oct 16th, 2003, 4:36pm

(Disclosure: I work for Applied Wave Research. I understand that commercial posts are generally discouraged on discussion forums, so I'll keep this one short.)

Among MMIC designers, Microwave Office from Applied Wave Research has become very popular in the last few years. I work for them now, but until February I was a designer, and used Microwave Office for several successful projects.

At you can download a 30 day demo - it runs on Windows, but we'll have a Linux version out next year. Also this year we are introducing Analog Office, a seperate product specialized for RFIC design.

If Ken says it's ok, I'd like to describe our product further. Otherwise, you can check out our site, or email for more information.

Duncan (

Title: Re: Best RF/MMIC design simulator ?
Post by Ken Kundert on Oct 16th, 2003, 9:52pm

I appreciate your restraint. I'd like to avoid commercial activity on this site, so I'd rather you not describe your products more fully. You have given your email and web address, so anyone that is interested can find out more.

To give equal time, besides Cadence, Agilent, Mentor, and AWR, RF design/simulation software is also available from Ansoft, Xpedion, Eagleware, and Aplac.


The Designer's Guide Community Forum » Powered by YaBB 2.2.2!
YaBB © 2000-2008. All Rights Reserved.