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11 February 2014

Agilent’s simulation and modeling software selected by Nitronex for high-power GaN design

Agilent Technologies Inc of Santa Clara, CA, USA has been selected by Nitronex LLC of Morrisville, NC, USA, a GaAs labs company that designs and makes gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si)-based RF power devices, to provide a complete GaN design flow that spans both device modeling and circuit simulation.

The flow uses Agilent EEsof EDA’s IC-CAP model extraction software and Advanced Design System (ADS) circuit and system simulator — both are RF and microwave design platforms offered by Agilent EEsof EDA (which supplies electronic design automation software for microwave, RF, high-frequency, high-speed digital, RF system, electronic system level, circuit, 3D electromagnetic, physical design and device-modeling applications).

Nitronex’s GaN devices use silicon as a substrate, so there is an added inherent cost advantage to its approach. Nonetheless, as with the development of any high-power device, designing for high levels of reliability, performance and yield requires investing in modeling and simulation technology, says Agilent.

“Agilent’s software platforms offer a clear advantage for our design process,” comments Nitronex’s VP of engineering David Runton. “The usability and simulation advancements of ADS, combined with its superior device models and IC-CAP model extraction software, puts us in the best position to offer top-quality GaN parts. And, because Agilent’s tools offer a complete design flow, our design process will be more streamlined,” he adds.

“We have gotten uniformly positive feedback from companies as they reengineer their design flows with the latest nonlinear modeling technologies and simulator advancements,” says Agilent EEsof EDA marketing manager Charles Plott.

ADS delivers usability features to improve designer productivity and efficiency for all applications it supports, as well as capabilities specifically applicable to GaN design. Support for Agilent’s newly introduced artificial neural network-based model (extracted by IC-CAP device modeling software), for example, enables more accurate FET modeling and simulation results for high-power GaN FET amplifiers. Also, an electro-thermal simulator (based on a full 3D thermal solver natively integrated into ADS) incorporates dynamic temperature effects to improve accuracy in ‘thermally aware’ circuit simulation results.

IC-CAP features capabilities specifically geared toward high-frequency device modeling, including turnkey extraction of Agilent’s neural networked-based model as well as the Angelov-GaN model. GaN models in particular need to be well suited to deal with the impact of trapping and thermal effects on the device electrical characteristics, says Agilent.

Tags: Agilent EDA Nitronex GaN-on-Si RF power transistors

Visit: www.nitronex.com

Visit: www.agilent.com/find/eesof-ads

Visit: www.agilent.com/find/eesof-iccap

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