Tuesday, December 10, 2013

CST Webinar Series 2013: Skills for Electromagnetic Simulation

Now with the CST Webinar Series 2013 all wrapped-up, we’d like to thank all those who tuned-in live and heard our experts explore topics across the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum.

Our most popular webinars looked at the latest industry developments in 3D EM simulation, exciting the interest of those working with dielectric & conductor loss components and metamaterial-based devices as well as those involved in the field of wireless power transfer and microwave energy harvesting.

Have a look at the webcasts that are now available for you to watch on-demand. 
Charged Particles
  • Traveling Wave Tube Design with Simulation - Playback
Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC)
  • Electromagnetic Simulation of Composite Materials and Cable Harnesses in Aircraft - Playback 
  • EMC Simulation in the Design Flow of Modern Electronics - Playback
  • Train Signaling System Interference Estimation by CST MWS - Playback
Electronic Design Automation
  • High-speed and High Power Connector Design - Playback
  • High-speed Serial Link: Full-wave EM Modeling Methodology and Measurement Correlation - Playback
  • Simulating Dielectric and Conductor Loss Components Including the Influence of Trace Edge and Surface Roughness Topography - Playback
Microwaves & RF
  • MIMO Antenna Systems for Advanced Communication - Playback 
  • Modeling and Simulation of Metamaterial-based Devices for Industrial Applications - Playback
  • Simulation and Measurement: Complementary Design Tools - Playback
  • Wireless Power Transfer and Microwave Energy Harvesting - Playback
Since we’re always eager to hear your feedback, feel free to send us your opinion on the ‘CST Webinar Series 2013’ via e-mail (webinars (at) cst.com) so we can continue improving our webinars.
Happy viewing!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Accelerate simulations with the Nvidia Quadro K6000

Nvidia® recently released a new high-end graphics card in the Kepler series, the Nvidia Quadro® K6000. This card has a large amount of onboard RAM (12 GB), making it very suitable for large and demanding tasks. Starting with CST STUDIO SUITE 2013 Service Pack 4, all solvers in CST STUDIO SUITE with GPU computing acceleration now support the Quadro K6000.

To test its performance, we carried out a series of simulation benchmarks with a Quadro K6000, comparing it to both to another Nvidia GPU card, the Nvidia Tesla® K20c, and to an equivalent system with two Xeon E5-2650 CPUs.

As shown in the graph below, both GPU cards offered a significant benefit when compared to CPU simulation. However, for larger models, with tens of millions of mesh cells, the Quadro K6000 showed a performance improvement of between 30% and 35% compared to the Tesla K20c, giving a four-fold speedup compared to the CPU simulation. The benchmarks were performed on a ProViz W60 workstation with the time domain solver in CST STUDIO SUITE 2013. The hardware for this benchmark was kindly provided by CADnetwork.

The speedup compared to CPU computing for the Tesla K20c and the Quadro K6000 when simulating a multi-port IC package (pictured).

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Bluetooth Challenge at LAPC

As part of the annual Loughborough Antennas & Propagation Conference (LAPC), our friends at Antenna Magus will be hosting the ‘Bluetooth Challenge’ at booth D2.

And what is the ‘Bluetooth Challenge’ you ask?

Using Antenna Magus software, attendees are invited to design a suitable antenna that extends the (directional) bluetooth range. Using the provided tools and basic materials, participants can then build the antenna right there at the booth.

A winner will be chosen using the bluetooth audio streaming range-test.

If you’re looking to have an edge in the Bluetooth Challenge next week, have a look at these Antenna Magus designs … and remember to visit booth D2 at LAPC!


Monday, November 4, 2013

Technical Application Webinar Series

We’ve already broadcast more than half of the CST Webinar Series 2013, but we still have a range of topics to explore, from wireless power transfer to traveling wave tube design, and more.

Make sure you mark your calendars and register for the weekly webinars in November to find out how electromagnetic simulation can help you in your daily work.

November 7: Wireless Power Transfer and Microwave Energy Harvesting
This webinar will consist of two parts. The first part is a review of low frequency power transfer in two categories: short range-inductive charging and powering of electronic devices and electric vehicles, and mid-range power transfer through coupled resonant circuits. The second part of the webinar is concerned with wireless energy transfer over longer distances, where the far-field transfer of RF energy may be used.

November 14: EMC Simulation in the Design Flow of Modern Electronics
In this webinar we will show several examples of EMC countermeasures in modern electronics and good practices for implementing them. We will also demonstrate how simulation can predict the EMC performance of typical components like PCBs, enclosures and cables, and compare the simulation results to measurements performed on physical implementations of the structures.

November 21: Traveling Wave Tube Design with Simulation
This webinar will show how the design of traveling wave tubes can be bolstered by the use of simulation tools and high-performance computing, beginning with adjusting the geometry of the SWS such that beam and phase velocity of the wave are synchronized.

November 26: Simulating Dielectric and Conductor Loss Components Including the Influence of Trace Edge and Surface Roughness Topography
Dielectric and conductor loss components require careful material parameterization and structure set up. This webinar will give an overview of the parameterizations and set up, including the trace cross-section shape influence on conductor loss.

As our webinar service provider is unable to support access via mobile devices, please ensure you use a desktop or laptop computer to register and attend the event.

Friday, October 4, 2013

3D Electromagnetic Simulation Presentations at EuMW

If you happen to be heading to this year’s European Microwave Week (EuMW) in Nuremberg, Germany from Oct 6-11, this will be a great opportunity for you to see what’s new at CST. Dubbed as Europe’s “premier microwave, RF, wireless and radar event” – we definitely have a lot planned for the show, including a full schedule of electromagnetic (EM) simulation presentations at CST booth no. 103.

So here’s what you can expect from CST at EuMW:
The latest version of CST STUDIO SUITE® will be previewed at the show with new features to be demonstrated live at our booth on each day of the exhibition between 10:30 and 11:30. CST STUDIO SUITE 2014 expands on the capabilities of previous releases by further improving usability, by adding modeling features as well as streamlining workflows with CAD tools. Particular attention has been paid to model set-up, meshing and System Assembly and Modeling (SAM) workflows, especially for multiphysics and PCB simulation. Read our press release to get full details of the new features. 
  • 3D Electromagnetic Simulation Presentations
For the duration of the exhibition (Oct. 8-10), we will be presenting a range of demos and application and simulation technology talks. On the agenda are talks on high intensity radiated field (HIRF) testing, cosite interference analysis, Bio-EM, high performance computing techniques, antenna design, and EMI/EMC simulation. Check out the full stand schedule and be sure you don’t miss out on the talk that interests you.
  • Third-party Products and Networking Opportunities
We will be showcasing products from Delcross Technologies, and hosting talks and live demonstrations from Magus (Pty) Ltd, Optenni Ltd, and Transim Technology.
In collaboration with CST, Optenni Ltd have announced the availability of design tools for MIMO antenna optimization and Magus (Pty) Ltd showcase the upcoming availability of a antenna array and feed network modeling feature. As usual the designs can be exported to CST MICROWAVE STUDIO® for full 3D analysis and optimization. Representatives from Optenni Ltd and Magus (Pty) Ltd will be spending time at our booth – if you would like to organize a meeting, please contact us at marketing (at) cst.com.
Have a look at our stand schedule and the official Magus (Pty) Ltd and Optenni Ltd press releases.
  • Booth Party
This year our booth party will take place on Tuesday October 8 from 16:30 to close of show. You can join us for drinks and snacks and get the chance to speak to other EM simulation experts in a relaxed environment. 
  • Industrial Career Platform
On Tuesday Oct 8 and Thursday Oct 10 we will have a table at the Industrial Career Platform so you can drop by and discuss opportunities available in the field of EM simulation.
And of course, you can enjoy the CST-sponsored cyber café in the exhibition hall, and for delegates, the WiFi access in the conference area.

See you at the show!  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Typical Antenna Design Flow using Antenna Magus and CST STUDIO SUITE

Guest post by Thomas Sickel, Lead Antenna Design Engineer of Magus (Pty) Ltd.

Antenna Magus is an antenna synthesis tool, developed to help engineers design efficient RF devices. Its database, currently consisting of 225 antennas, can be explored and searched to find the optimal antenna topology for the given problem. This topology can then be designed and tuned to meet the system requirements, and subsequently exported as a fully parametric, ready-to-run 3D model compatible with CST MICROWAVE STUDIO® (CST MWS), allowing Antenna Magus to integrate seamlessly in the design workflow.

A basic performance analysis is available inside Antenna Magus, but a full 3D simulation is often necessary to obtain a more complete and more accurate solution. This is especially useful in cases where multiple devices require simultaneous simulation in an assembled, compound device. While CST DESIGN STUDIO™ (CST DS) may be used to perform a linear analysis on such a system, the effects of the more complex electromagnetic interactions between the various components will only become apparent in a full 3D simulation of the assembled device in CST MWS.

The example illustrated here is a combined GSM and WLAN monitoring system, covering a frequency range between 698 MHz and 5.855 GHz. Using Antenna Magus, a suitable antenna element is found to be the circularly polarized, UWB, absorber-lined cavity-backed Archimedes spiral antenna, and the coax-to-parallel wire transition is found to be a suitable transition / balun used to feed the spiral. The transition is designed for a number of electrical and mechanical specifications. An impedance match between the 50 Ω input and the 188 Ω spiral resistance is required, and the model needs to comply with certain manufacturing restrictions, including dielectric properties and an outer diameter requirement to match an SMA connector. Some commonly used RF coaxial connectors, such as an SMA 2 hole female panel mount with extended PTFE used here, are also available in Antenna Magus.

Once all the devices have been exported from Antenna Magus, they can be combined in CST DS for a linear cascaded analysis or in CST MWS for a full 3D simulation. The figure below shows a good agreement between the linear solution (red) and the full wave solution (green). This indicates that in this particular instance, the interaction between devices was negligible and as a first-order approach, the compound structure may be successfully analyzed using the substantially quicker linear solver.

System Assembly and Modeling (SAM) in CST STUDIO SUITE® could be used to optimize and analyze the structure further, and allow the engineer to include steps such as thermal analysis to investigate the heat dissipation of the absorbing layers inside the cavity. This means that a broad multiphysics analysis of the entire system can be carried out using only Antenna Magus and CST STUDIO SUITE.

Monday, September 23, 2013

CST interviews Dr Miguel Navarro-Cía, Imperial College London

Dr. Miguel Navarro-Cía, currently a Junior Research Fellow in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Imperial College London, won a CST University Publication Award in 2012 for work on a metamaterial lens as part of a team in the Millimeter & Terahertz Waves Laboratory at Universidad Pública de Navarra. As part of our university interview series, we caught up with him to ask him about his work.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

CST interviews Dr Andrea Alù, University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Andrea Alù is an associate professor and David & Doris Lybarger Endowed Faculty Fellow in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. His main fields of work include metamaterials, plasmonics and nanoantennas, and he has received CST University Publication Awards in 2008 and 2012. We spoke to him recently about his work in plasmonics and how he uses electromagnetic simulations.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

CST interviews Dr Miguel Beruete, Universidad Pública de Navarra

Beruete’s group: (left to right) Victor Pacheco, Bakhtiyar Orazbayev,
Victor Torres, Miguel Beruete, and Unai Beaskoetxea.
How are metamaterial devices simulated? That’s what we asked Dr. Miguel Beruete from Universidad Pública de Navarra. He won CST University Publication Awards in 2005 and 2012, and is active in metamaterials and plasmonics.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

CST Webinar Series 2013 - Exploring Technical Applications

The CST Webinar Series is back again this year! Beginning in September and running until December, the free webinars are a great way to both introduce you to the decisive advantages of electromagnetic simulation and equip you with techniques that help to shorten the design cycle and reduce the number of costly prototypes needed.

Design challenges in the fields of microwaves & RF, EMC, EDA and particle dynamics will be explored, to help engineers remain competitive in the electronics market.

Registrations are now open; simply follow the links below to secure your place! 

CST Webinar Series 2013 Schedule

September 19: High Speed and High Power Connector Design - Playback available
September 26: Modeling and Simulation of Metamaterial-based Devices for Industrial Applications - Playback available
October 1: High-speed Serial Link: Full-wave EM Modeling Methodology and Measurement Correlation - Playback available
October 17: Simulation and Measurement: Complementary Design Tools - Playback available
October 24: MIMO Antenna Systems for Advanced Communication - Playback available
October 31: Electromagnetic Simulation of Composite Materials and Cable Harnesses in Aircraft Playback Available
November 7: Wireless Power Transfer and Microwave Energy Harvesting - Playback available
November 14: EMC Simulation in the Design Flow of Modern Electronics - Playback available
November 21: Traveling Wave Tube Design with Simulation - Playback available
November 26: Simulating Dielectric and Conductor Loss Components Including the Influence of Trace Edge and Surface Roughness Topography - Playback available
December 5: Train Signaling System Interference Estimation by CST MWS - Playback available

As our webinar service provider is unable to support access via mobile devices, please ensure you use a desktop or laptop computer to register and attend the event.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Performance on-demand with cloud computing

In previous HPC blog posts, we’ve discussed several methods for speeding up your simulations with high-performance hardware. However, this hardware can be a significant investment for a company or research group.

For example, the costs of a cluster for MPI computing are not limited to purchasing the hardware – it includes enterprise-level interconnects and, if necessary, GPU cards. There is also the cost of installation to consider, along with the need for a dedicated technician whose job it is to maintain the system, training for users and the rapid obsolescence of HPC equipment. For customers with very large workloads, an MPI cluster can be a worthwhile investment, but for smaller companies, occasional simulations probably won’t justify this expense.

For these users, cloud computing provides a very useful connection to the world of HPC. Instead of using computing resources on-site, they can upload their models to a cluster owned by a cloud computing provider such as Bull extreme factory. They then hire time on the cluster to carry out the calculations, and when they are complete, view the results with a visualization session or download them.

Since you only pay for the time when you’re using the cluster, cloud computing can be very economical for occasional jobs. To help these users, we offer special cloud computing licenses with durations from as little as a week. Because CST STUDIO SUITE® comes pre-installed on the cluster, you can begin using it right away.

The cloud computing workflow is simple, and doesn’t differ greatly from the usual workflow that our users are familiar with. Our portal on Bull extreme factory allows you to manage your data, licenses and simulation tasks through a simple webpage, and it also lets you start a visualization session. This launches a window with the CST STUDIO SUITE user interface, allowing you to control and view the simulation just as it would appear if it was running on your own workstation. Settings can be adjusted easily, and results can be viewed without having to download the entire file.

Cloud computing is very flexible – you can choose how powerful a cluster needs to be for the job and when  you need it – and while very large companies, who need HPC almost constantly, might find that owning a dedicated cluster is still the most efficient option, cloud computing levels the playing field for small and medium companies. Security is of course a key concern for many companies, and so data can be transferred using a secure channel with HTTPS and, where available, a VPN. Additional security features are available on demand.

Cloud computing clusters are well-equipped to take advantage of the HPC features of CST STUDIO SUITE, with multi-core processors, GPU cards and high-speed interconnects. These features can be activated using acceleration tokens in the same way that local resources are.

With the introduction of cloud computing, CST STUDIO SUITE now has a HPC solution for almost every need and price range, from entry-level to enterprise. See the HPC section of our website or contact your local sales representative to discuss the best HPC option for your requirements.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Pushing the limits of simulation with MPI computing

While there are many ways to improve the performance of a workstation, there are always limits on what a single computer can do. When faced with a problem that would be impractical or impossible to solve on one computer, MPI computing offers a way forward.

MPI, which stands for Message Passing Interface, is a system for allowing a computer cluster to act like a single supercomputer. In a simulation with MPI computing, the model is broken down into multiple simulation domains, and each computer in the cluster is sent one of these parts to solve. Unlike distributed computing, these calculations are not independent – after all, electromagnetic waves can pass freely from one domain to another. Domain decomposition is possible because the nodes of the cluster regularly exchange field data at simulation domains, so that the total field across the device can be calculated.

In CST STUDIO SUITE®, MPI computing is currently supported by the transient solver, frequency domain solver, integral equation solver and wakefield solver. While these solvers are powerful, the use of one computer limits the size of the models that can be. With MPI computing, the model is broken down into smaller domains, removing these restrictions – if the cluster is large enough, models of arbitrary size can be simulated. When using the transient solver, MPI computing can even be combined with GPU computing; a cluster with multiple GPU cards overcomes the usual memory limits of a single GPU.

Customers sometimes ask whether they can use MPI computing on their ad-hoc clusters, using workstations or small enterprise servers connected by a standard Ethernet. Unfortunately, this is not really practical – to use MPI computing effectively, it needs to be run on a dedicated supercomputer-type cluster with homogenous nodes and a high-speed interconnect like InfiniBand®. The nodes  have to exchange very large amounts of data between each other constantly, and a slow connection will completely negate the benefits of MPI computing. An alternative for these users is to use cloud computing.

The final blog post in this series will explore cloud computing for HPC, and show how it makes the power of MPI computing available to users who don’t have the resources for a dedicated cluster.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Boosting simulation performance with GPU computing

GPUs (graphical processing units) were originally designed for generating video graphics, but their high memory bandwidth and the ability to perform calculations in parallel very quickly made them attractive to scientific and engineering users. GPU cards typically have hundreds of parallel cores, along with several gigabytes of on-board RAM. The memory bandwidth for GPUs is much higher – a Tesla K20 has a bandwidth of 208 GB/s, while the widely-used DDR3-1333 RAM in a quad-channel configuration offers just 51.2 GB/s – and this leads to significant speed advantages in certain situations.

CST STUDIO SUITE® supports GPU acceleration with the Nvidia® Tesla series of GPUs for the transient solver, the integral equation solver and the PIC solver. Multiple GPU cards can be used together for even greater speed-ups – either combined in one machine or distributed across a cluster – although PIC solver currently only supports one GPU per simulation. As part of an oPAC research network project, we’re currently developing a multi-GPU PIC solver, so watch this space!

One advantage of GPU computing is that it is very scalable. GPU cards are available for a wide range of computer types, from individual workstations up to servers for computing clusters. Distributed computing (DC) can both take advantage of GPU computing, as can MPI computing with the transient solver. The acceleration tokens in CST STUDIO SUITE can be used to choose the best combination of HPC techniques for each simulation. For further information about acceleration tokens, see the licensing guide.

The next blog post in this series will discuss MPI computing in more detail, and show how it can be used to simulate problems that are beyond the capabilities of a single computer.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Riding the Wind of Change at EMC 2013

Electromagnetic product design not only has to meet system integration requirements, but also need to comply with international electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) standards. It’s no wonder more and more engineers are looking for solutions to identify and correct EMC problems early in the design process. At the IEEE International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC 2013), EMC testing will be explored, providing engineers with the opportunity to ride this wind of change by sharpening their design skills and enhancing their understanding of EMC.

From August 6-9 in Denver, Colorado, CST will not only be exhibiting at EMC 2013 (booth #409), but will also be actively participating in the technical sessions, workshops and tutorials. Have a look at what we have planned for the show below or download the final program.

See you at the symposium!

Monday August 5 (Workshops & Tutorials)

8:30am – noon (Room 205)
Introduction to EMI Modeling Techniques 
  • The Transmission Line Method (David Johns, CST of America)
  • The Finite Integration Technique (Antonio Ciccomancini, CST of America)
1:30 – 5:30pm (Room 205)
How to Break Complex Systems Into Realistic, Solvable, Accurate Models (Chair: David Johns, CST of America)
  • 4:50 – 5:30pm PM Modeling Techniques for Reducing the Complexity of EMC simulations (David Johns, CST of America)
Wednesday August 7 (Technical sessions)

1:30 – 5:30pm (Room 207)
System Level Signal Integrity (SI) and Power Integrity (PI) Analysis for High-Speed Design
  • 4:00pm – PM High-speed Single-ended Bus: Full-Wave Modeling Methodology and Correlation (Mauro Lai; Intel Corp, Darryl Kostka; CST of America, Jonathan Casanova; Intel Corp, Madhumitha Seshadhri; Intel Corp)
  • 4:30pm – PM System Level Simulation Solutions for High-Speed Channels – Package and PCB Interface (Jianmin Zhang; Altera, Antonio Ciccomancini, Tracey Vincent; CST of America, Hong Shi; Altera Corp)
Thursday August 8 (Technical Sessions)

8:30 am – noon (Room 207)
Signal Integrity Enhancement and Crosstalk Management (Co-chairs: Bill Chen; Yangtze Delta Region Institute of Tsinghua University, Antonio Ciccomancini; CST of America)

Friday August 9 (Workshops & Tutorials)

8:30 am – noon (Room 210/212)
Fundamentals of Signal & Power Integrity
  • Modeling of High Speed Interconnects for Signal Integrity Analysis (Antonio Ciccomancini, CST of America)
1:30 pm – 5:30 pm (Room 207)
EMC in 3D Integration (Co-Chairs: Antonio Ciccomancini; CST of America, Giullo Antonini; Universita degli Studi dell’Aquila)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sharing the workload with distributed computing

Performance is a major concern for our users. With tight time constraints, fast-moving development cycles and the ever-present threat from competitors, it’s natural that engineers and researchers want to be able to simulate their models as quickly as possible. But how do you speed up your simulation without sacrificing accuracy?

CST STUDIO SUITE® supports several high-performance computing (HPC) methods which can help you push simulation to its limit. Over the coming weeks, we will discuss all of these here in a bit more detail, beginning with distributed computing.

Distributed computing (DC) is a very flexible way to spread out the work when carrying out multiple simulations. There are a lot of tasks that require many independent simulations to be carried out, even though not all of them are necessarily obvious.

It’s clear that a parameter sweep or an optimization, where the model is re-simulated with different parameters, will need a lot of simulation runs. However, the general transient and frequency domain solvers are also excellent candidates for DC – in the time domain, port excitations are calculated independently, while in the frequency domain, each frequency point in a broadband simulation is a separate simulation.

In DC, these independent calculations are distributed over a network to a cluster of solver servers. Each server carries out its calculation and returns it to the main controller, and if necessary, the next simulation is sent from a queue.

This makes DC a very helpful tool for users working in large teams. A lot of our users only carry out the most demanding types of simulations occasionally. While these simulations could be carried out on their own workstation, the complexity of the model means that the calculations are very resource-intensive. In a lot of cases, it’s not worthwhile for them to get a very powerful workstation which they only take advantage of occasionally.

A more efficient approach is to give everyone on the team a thin client or a simple workstation, and have a central computer cluster that the team has access to. One server acts as the main controller, communicating between workstations which run the frontend, and the solver servers which run the simulations. This way, everyone on the team has access to HPC when they need it, but without the resources going to waste when they don’t.

DC is also well-suited to relatively small scale projects. Distributed computing can use a variety of different hardware types, and computers in a cluster do not have to be identical. This means it can operate on the ad-hoc clusters often used in universities and small companies. In fact, the main controller can even take the performance of different solver servers into account when distributing jobs.

If, for example, only some computers on the cluster are fitted with GPU cards, the main controller can make sure that only these solvers are used for computationally demanding problems. The distributed computing system is also compatible with third-party job queuing software, so it can be used alongside other programs operating on the same cluster.

On the subject of GPU acceleration, stay tuned! Another blog post about HPC, explaining how GPU computing can make certain simulations run much faster, is coming soon.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

New features in CST STUDIO SUITE Service Pack 2

Workflow for modeling the detuning of an accelerator cavity
(click for a larger version)
CST STUDIO SUITE® 2013 introduced several new features – most notably, the new Ribbon-based interface. We’re pleased to say that customer feedback has been positive, and their comments steered the development of Service Pack 2, which is currently being distributed through the Automatic Update System.

Alongside some fixes, SP2 also includes several new features demanded by our customers. These features cover a range of applications, from PCBs and MIMO antenna arrays to accelerator cavities and low-frequency devices.

The main new features in SP2 are:

    • Deformation sensitivity analysis in the eigenmode solver (see image)
    • Materials with time-dependent conductivity for the transient solver
    • Anisotropic thin-film materials in the GPU TLM solver
    • New weighting functions for MIMO (farfield result template)
    • NFS export for field source monitor results
  • CST PCB STUDIO® and EDA simulation tools
    • Pull-up components
    • Import tools for Zuken CR-8000 layouts
    • Curved mesh elements in the magnetoquasistatic and full wave LF solvers (SP1 already included curved elements for the magnetostatic solver)
    • Particle interfaces in the GPU PIC solver

Service Pack 2 does not mark the end of development of CST STUDIO SUITE 2013, of course. In order to react quickly to continuous user feedback, additional service packs will be released regularly throughout the year. The primary focus of every service pack is fixing reported problems; new features are included only when we are sure that the overall quality and stability is not detrimentally affected. Each service pack is tested thoroughly before release to ensure that it maintains the stability and accuracy of the software. There should be no disadvantage in upgrading from an earlier version, and therefore we strongly recommend always installing the latest released Service Pack.

For more information, please contact your local CST office.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

CST interviews Dr Prashanth Kumar, University of New Mexico

(Courtesy of Prashanth Kumar, Univesity of New Mexico)
Dr Prashanth Kumar, working in a team from the University of New Mexico, won the CST University Publication Award in 2011 for work on an inhomogeneous lens for delivering electromagnetic pulses into living tissue effectively. (A prototype of the device is shown to the right).

As part of our series of interviews promoting university research, we asked Prashanth a few questions about his work.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Trends from IMS 2013

By Jonathan Oakley, VP Sales & Marketing CST of America
During a week of surprisingly perfect weather in Seattle, CST of America were at a particularly busy show – IMS 2013, the leading international symposium for microwave theory and practice. High traffic through the booth, a full presentation schedule and a very active demo station kept our staff occupied over the 3 exhibition days as we showcased electromagnetic (EM) simulation software tool, CST STUDIO SUITE®.

It was noticeable during the Q&A after our presentations and general booth conversations that engineers and their managers want more from their software tools than ever. So what are they looking out for? What I noticed is that companies are demanding more integrated software tools that fit seamlessly into existing workflows as well as being easy to use. However, it was clear that they needed EM simulation software that is both fast and accurate, without losing its depth of capability. What’s more is that the sheer range of applications mentioned by people visiting the booth was huge, ranging from antenna placement on large mining vehicles to exotic materials on aircrafts.

We were pleased to have all visitors drop by to say hello at our booth. If you want to have a look at what we were up to, check out our IMS 2013 Pinterest board for snapshots from the show or watch some of our interviews by Microwave Journal, RF Globalnet, and Engineering TV.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What Does Performance Really Mean?

Detail from a PCB cross-talk simulation
Product design cycles are tight, and there are many hurdles to be crossed between the concept and the final product. Simulation offers benefits throughout the design process, but to stay at the cutting edge, engineers, designers and researchers need their simulation results fast while still maintaining excellent accuracy. Performance is a combination of these two factors – speed and accuracy.

To make CST STUDIO SUITE® as useful as possible, we devote a substantial amount of development time to improving the performance of our products and optimizing the solver technology. Thanks to our co-operation with Intel®, our products can take full advantage of the power and speed of the latest generation processors. For more information about this, please see the Intel/CST solution profile.

Innovations such as the Perfect Boundary Approximation (PBA)®, the Thin Sheet Technique (TST)™  and True Geometry Adaptation enhance the efficiency of our flagship time domain and frequency solvers by improving their accuracy without compromising on speed. For models that are difficult to solve with these solvers, CST also have a range of other technologies which offer excellent performance for certain types of simulation. The asymptotic and integral equation solvers for example offer a practical approach for solving electrically large problems, such as antenna placement and RCS. High-Q structures, which are hard to simulate in the time domain because of how long they keep ringing, are much more efficiently calculated with the fast resonant solver.

Performance is not just about raw power, however. Usability also plays a key role in helping users achieve their goals, by streamlining the simulation workflow and allowing it to slot more easily into the product design process. To that end, we also work to ensure that CST STUDIO SUITE is very user-friendly. The Ribbon-based user interface guides the user through the simulation process, and the Project Wizard tool suggests the most suitable configuration and solver type for a fast, accurate simulation.

These three elements together – speed, accuracy and usability – are the basis of an effective workflow.  Only when all three are available, without compromise, can a simulation be called high performance.

Friday, May 31, 2013

CST interviews Dr Maciej Klemm, University of Bristol

Every year, we give the CST University Publication Award to researchers who’ve found innovative uses for CST STUDIO SUITE® in academic research. Dr Maciej Klemm, currently at the University of Bristol, UK, has won the award twice, once in 2006 as part of a group investigating antennas for body-area networks, and once in 2010 for a paper on contrast-enhanced imaging with UWB microwave radar. We spoke to him about his recent work and asked him how he uses simulation in his work.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Experience IMS with CST

With over 7500 participants at last year’s event, the IEEE MTT International Microwave Symposium (IMS) is undoubtedly one of the premier meeting places for the international microwave industry. This year, IMS will be held in Seattle from June 2-7, where industry leaders will meet to explore and discuss the latest developments in the field.

As silver sponsors of the annual event, we’re excited to be experiencing IMS with you. Join us at our booth (#1344) where we’ll be hosting sessions that present our products and their applications:

Tuesday, June 4th
  • 9:45 – 10:05 CST STUDIO SUITE® 2013 highlights
  • 10:10 – 10:30 Multiphysics workflow in CST STUDIO SUITE®
  • 15:35 – 15:55 CST STUDIO SUITE® 2013 highlights
  • 16:00 – 16:20 Antenna workflow: Synthesis, matching, installed performance

Wednesday, June 5th
  • 9:45 – 10:05 CST STUDIO SUITE® 2013 highlights
  • 10:10 – 10:30 Co-site interference and mitigation using EMIT
  • 16:20 – 16:40 CST STUDIO SUITE® 2013 highlights
  • 16:45 – 17:05 EM analysis of aircraft using composite materials and cabling

Thursday, June 6th
  • 9:45 – 10:05 CST STUDIO SUITE® 2013 highlights
  • 10:10 – 10:30 Vehicle installed antenna performance using SAVANT

Booth Party

On Wednesday June 5 from 16:20 we’ll be hosting a party at booth #1344. Join us for some finger food and refreshments and network with CST employees, users, and attendees. Tickets are required, and can be picked up at our booth.

Of course, IMS also has an extensive range of technical sessions, interactive forums, panel sessions, commercial exhibition workshops, short courses and application seminars on offer. You can download the full program here. Advanced registrations will be closing at the end of this week on May 31, so make sure you don’t miss the event by registering here.

To complement IMS’ focus to “network” and “discover”, we’ll also be updating you on CST’s involvement live throughout the event. Make sure you look out for updates on Twitter under #IMS2013 or simply follow us @CSTworld.

See you at the show!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

CST Workshop Series Tours the US

CST is going on tour. Kicking-off in Maryland and finishing in California; over the course of a month, we’ll be making stops across the United States to showcase the very latest developments in electromagnetic simulation (EM) tools.

In 1998 we released CST MICROWAVE STUDIO® for the simulation of high frequency devices. It delivered unprecedented performance in an intuitive interface, that also helped simplify the pre-and-post processing of models and results. With our CST Workshop Series, we’re showcasing how advanced virtual prototyping has become with our complete range of simulation tools in CST STUDIO SUITE® 2013.

The workshops will benefit not only CST users, but also those who want to learn more about our tools and the recent developments in EM simulation. With a live demo of CST STUDIO SUITE, participants can preview new features, smoother workflows, an intelligent configuration wizard, user-friendly interfaces, larger model capabilities and impressive speed improvements.

We’ll be hosting half-day workshops on ‘Microwaves & Antennas’ and ‘EDA & EMC’. All of the workshops are free to attend and are a great opportunity to discover the benefits of virtual prototyping for antennas or EDA and EMC analysis. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Microwave & Antenna Workshop

This workshop covers the complete antenna and system workflow, highlighting antenna synthesis, performance in isolation, matching circuit design, installed performance prediction and cosite interference analysis.

EDA & EMC Workshop

A complete PCB/package design workflow will be explored in this workshop, starting with pre-layout synthesis and followed by fast post-layout signal and power integrity analysis and full-wave extraction. EMI analysis at the system level starting with fast EMC rule-checking and simulating noise sources from the PCB will be demonstrated along with the analysis of coupling to nearby components such as heat sinks, connectors, and cables and the shielding performance of the chassis, radiated emissions and susceptibility.

Click on the links below for more information and to register online.
Tuesday May 28 - Hanover, Maryland, Microwave & Antenna
Thursday May 30 - Framingham, Massachusetts: Microwave & Antenna
Tuesday June 18 - Santa Clara, California: EDA & EMC (morning session)
Tuesday June 18 - Santa Clara, California: Microwave & Antenna (afternoon session)
Tuesday June 18 - Arlington, Texas: Microwave & Antenna
Thursday June 20 - Irvine, California: EDA & EMC (morning session)
Thursday June 20 - Irvine, California: Microwave & Antenna (afternoon session)
Thursday June 20 - Chicago, Illinois: Microwave & Antenna

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Users Collaborate at CST EUC 2013

Knowledge exchange is key to carrying out any type of work efficiently, especially when it comes to realizing the full potential of technology. With the 8th CST European User Conference (EUC), our goal remained the same as ever – bringing users from the fields of industry, research, and academia together to share insights in engineering design challenges and solutions.

EUC was held at the Maritim Hotel in Stuttgart, Germany from April 23-25. Users from across Europe joined specialists from CST sales, support and R&D for a series of seven technical sessions throughout a full two-day program. Some attendees came early for the pre-EUC training sessions on antennas, workflow automation, and matching circuit optimization. The CST Support Center was an added bonus for many attendees as was the industrial exhibition where a number of companies showcased their products and services (we’ll be posting up videos from the exhibitors soon).

Through user presentations, attendees benefitted by seeing how others use CST’s electromagnetic simulation software to solve their design and engineering challenges. The new features of CST STUDIO SUITE® 2013 were also put in the spotlight, with specific talks on simulation workflows, high performance computing, and the latest improvements.

Altogether, there were over 18 hours of presentations in three parallel tracks. Antenna design was a topic of major interest for our users, with four ninety minute sessions covering everything from the peculiarities of electrically small antenna design to antenna arrays for 3D radar, along with matching and optimization techniques. However, the EMC and EDA markets were also well represented by engineers presenting applications ranging from the impact of connector ground contacts on EMC emissions to train signaling system interference estimation, and our fascinating particle dynamics sessions attracted speakers using CST products to model the impedance of components in the LHC equipped with RF fingers, trapped modes in the CERN Proton Synchrotron, and CaCo and IOTs amplifiers, among other applications.

Two sessions were dedicated to the rapidly developing fields of bio-EM and terahertz devices, while the low-frequency and statics session presented the latest features for electrical and electrothermal devices in CST STUDIO SUITE. Last but not least, the session on devices gave design engineers a chance to discuss how they used simulation to help create products including diplexers, sensors and microwave ovens. As always, presentations are available online to download with the permission of their authors.

Not only were attendees able to take part in the technical program, but they were also treated to a mesmerizing social program – filled with award-winning artisans, magic, and fire! Both the technical and social events let users speak directly and informally to each other and to us, allowing new applications and techniques to be discussed, feedback on potential software issues offered, and wishes for future features shared.

We’d like to once again thank all the attendees and presenters who made the 8th European User Conference one to remember.

See you next year … in Berlin!

Monday, April 15, 2013

CST interviews Xiaodong Chen, Professor of Microwave Engineering at QMUL

Xiaodong Chen, Professor of Microwave Engineering at Queen Mary, University of London, recently came to the CST headquarters to discuss with us how researchers at Queen Mary use electromagnetic simulation in their research. Chen is a member of the Antennas and Electromagnetics Research Group at Queen Mary, as well as being a CST co-operation partner. We took the opportunity to ask him a few questions about how CST STUDIO SUITE has helped him and his group carry out their work.

Friday, April 12, 2013

CST Interview Series Celebrates Researchers

Research is a cornerstone of the modern world, and we at CST are proud that our software is used in universities and laboratories worldwide. Researchers are among the most innovative users of our products, and every year we give the CST University Publication Award to acknowledge the importance of their work. 2013 marks the 10th anniversary of the Award, and to celebrate, we’ve invited past winners, along with some of our university co-operation partners, to discuss their work with us.

The series will be kicking off on Monday, 15 April with a short interview with Xiaodong Chen, Professor of Microwave Engineering at Queen Mary, University of London, who will be telling us about how his group used CST MICROWAVE STUDIO® to design an innovative antenna for an experimental mini-satellite.

Further interviews will follow in the weeks to come. To stay up-to-date with the latest news, articles and updates from CST, you can follow us on the social network of your choice:

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Want to know the future of in-flight connectivity? Or perhaps you’re simply keen on uncovering the key element of a well-designed radar or RFID? As diverse as these technologies are, you are likely to run into one common element that defines their performance – antennas. 

CST is a platinum sponsor of EuCAP, European Conference on Antennas and Propogation, which this year will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden from April 8-12. Borrowing the catch-phrase of the host city Gothenburg, EuCAP encourages visitors to ‘go: use your antennas’. We’ve taken this call-to-action literally with our Advanced Antenna System Simulation workshop enabling you to do just that - use your antennas:  
This workshop will consist of various application examples and live demonstrations. All aspects of the antenna design workflow will be discussed, from making the right choice of antenna type and its initial dimensioning, through to choosing the optimal solver technology and optimizing the antenna performance for a specific application. The design of feeding and matching circuits will be discussed, along with multiphysics effects, human exposure to fields, and finally the antenna placement in its environment.
Not only will we be conducting this workshop, but CST will be joined with expert engineers from Magus Pty Ltd, developers of leading antenna synthesis tool Antenna Magus, to show visitors how simulation can help greatly in creating and testing antennas against the desired specifications.

We will be available at booth #29 and #30 to discuss antenna simulation and answer questions regarding Antenna Magus as well as our entire range of antenna simulation tools, including our flagship software CST MICROWAVE STUDIO®, and our partners’ products; Optenni Lab, EMIT, and Savant.
We're looking forward to seeing you there!

EuCAP 2013
April 8-12, 2013
Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre
Gothenburg, Sweden C
CST Booth: #29, #30

CST Workshop: Advanced Antenna Simulation
April 9, 2013 14.00– 15.00 (Room R24 + 25)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

CST STUDIO SUITE 2013: Update Webinar Series

It’s that time of year again. This year’s release of CST STUDIO SUITE® is getting the finishing touches and should be on its way to our customers around the world very soon. Along with user manuals, tutorials, an overview of advanced topics, and tips on installing and getting you started, we’ve also organized for a few of our experts to demonstrate the new features through an update webinar series

To cater for different time zones, we’ll be presenting each topic twice on the scheduled date:
April 10, 2013 – Improvements to EDA and EMC workflows 
This webinar presents improvements to EDA and EMC/EMI simulation workflows in CST STUDIO SUITE® 2013, at both the component and system levels. A wireless router is used as a test case to demonstrate board and system-level SI/PI and EMC analysis.
April 11, 2013 – Low Frequency Simulation
The list of low-frequency applications is almost endless, with motors, sensors, transformers, switches, brakes and particle tubes all fitting under this description. This webinar will demonstrate the new features in CST STUDIO SUITE 2013 for simulating and modeling these devices.
Reigster now: 
April 16, 2013 – Microwave and RF Simulation
CST STUDIO SUITE has become an industry-standard tool for a wide range of microwave and radio frequency applications. In this webinar, we will introduce our 2013 release by demonstrating its new features and exploring the state-of-the-art in EM device and hybrid system simulation. 
Register now: 
The webinars will use various application examples, allowing you to witness first-hand how the entire simulation workflow has this year been made more accessible, more intuitive. After the live events, the ‘CST STUDIO SUITE 2013: Update Webinar Series’ will also be available to registered users on demand.
Looking forward to having you there!

**Update 18/4/2013** Webinar links have changed to playback links for on demand viewing.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Looking Back at the CST Korean User Conference

Every year the CST Korean User Conference gives our users the opportunity to exchange technical information amongst their peers. This year 140 engineers joined us on March 21 at the Korean Design Center in Budang, with users themselves also taking part by presenting their works based on CST software.

The presentations gave insight on the user perspective, exploring application topics such as RF, Antennas, Signal Integrity, EMI and ESD. CST complemented the user presentations with an overview of the new features in the 2013 release of CST STUDIO SUITE®, an introduction to EDA applications and a range of application notes covering EMC, MW&RF, and multiphysics.

CST also presented live demos of CST STUDIO SUITE, with attendees taking particular interest in the new features to be expected in 2013.

Our next user conference, the European User Conference (EUC), will be held in Stuttgart, Germany from April 23-25 2013, where we’re hoping to generate a similar enlightening environment for engineers to share their ideas.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Hands-on at EDI CON 2013

EDI CON 2013 is ready to begin. With an impressive conference schedule and a variety of technical tracks and presentations, hands-on practical solutions are definitely going to be a highlight of the show. CST is proud to be a gold sponsor of EDI CON, the inaugural conference for the high-frequency and high-speed electronics industry in China, and as gold sponsors, many of us will be heading out to Beijing, hoping to meet you at the exhibition hall and presentations.

As well as presenting CST STUDIO SUITE® at booth #251, we will be actively participating throughout the event. The three technical tracks will feature technical sessions with papers from invited contributors, and our sales and technical support manager for CST South East Asia Pty Ltd, Klaus Krohne, has been invited to co-chair the second technical track session: Measurement & Modeling. 
There will also be an opportunity to discover the practical applications of CST’s simulation software through the following sessions: 
  • CST MICROWAVE STUDIO® Workshop – Integrated Antenna Design for a GSM Tracking Device
Wednesday March 13, 15:30 – 16:10 (Room D)
A common strategy when designing an electronic communication device is to use an off-the-shelf antenna. However, the designer is limited to commercially available antennas. In this workshop we aim to illustrate how an existing chip antenna on a GSM tracking device can be replaced by an embedded, integrated antenna. The workshop will show how the design capabilities of Antenna Magus, a searchable database of antennas, can be combined with the full-wave 3D electromagnetic simulation tools in CST STUDIO SUITE to create an embedded design which takes into account the full coupling in a complex environment.
  • EDA Design Panel – Standard and Expert Tools in the Industrial EDA/EMC Design Flow
Thursday March 14, 17:15 – 18:00 (Room B)
In order to master the increasing complexity and performance of modern electronic devices, design engineers use simulation tools to an ever greater extent. Employing electromagnetic simulation tools earlier in the design process helps to ensure compliance with specifications and standards before prototypes are built. The feasibility of such simulations is promoted through robust import-filters, automated construction in 3D including component placement, and solver technologies that can deal with the detail richness of state-of-the-art devices.
We’ll also be looking forward to attending eASIC and Continental Automotive GmbH’s presentations:
  • 3D EMC Simulation of Automotive Multimedia Systems
Wednesday March 13, 11:20 – 11:40 (Room B)
A key challenge in automotive product design is the compliance to electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and interference (EMI) requirements in a cost-driven project environment. Traditionally, EMC and EMI issues are solved in the EMC lab, often without getting a full understanding of the underlying effects. The adoption of 3D field simulation provides an insight into the root causes of electromagnetic resonance effects occurring in the product, enabling fast design cycles and high product quality. This presentation shows an example of using 3D EM simulation for solving a GSM immunity issue. After setting up a model with the relevant electrical and mechanical components, a combination of several effects that introduce disturbances to the system has been found. The system could then be optimized within a few days by simulating the whole device architecture, leading to a reliable and cost-effective solution.
  • Measurement and Modeling Technical Session – High Speed IA: Signal Lines to Power Plane Coupling Caused by Common Mode Current in High Speed SerDes Interconnect Design
Thursday March 14, 08:30 – 08:50 (Room B)
One of the main problems in the design of high speed printed circuit boards (PCB) and package substrate is the uncontrolled path of the return current, which couples to power planes and leads to both signal integrity (SI) and electromagnetic interference (EMI) problems. A real design is investigated with numerical simulation to prove that the concept of common mode insertion loss offers an indicator of uncontrolled return current and demonstrate its impact on the signal performance of high speed interconnects.
These presentations offer a sample of the practical hands-on solutions on show at EDI CON 2013. You can plan your schedule now by having a look at the full abstracts in the conference program, and don't forget to download the detailed floor plan to make sure you know how to make your way to booth #251.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Simplifying the Antenna Design Process

Antennas don’t operate in isolation. They are the omnipresent link that makes wireless communication possible, and as use of applications ranging from radios and GPS to mobile phones and RFID increases, so too does the demand for high-performance antennas. Fitting wide-band and multi-band antennas into small devices requires careful antenna selection to find a design that gives both performance and compactness.

Put simply, successful antenna design should produce an element that is insensitive to manufacturing tolerances and is cost-effective to produce. Selecting the correct element as early in the design cycle as possible minimizes the risk of exceeding the budget or the time constraints experienced during later stages of the design and production process. This is why antenna design remains a growing area of interest for our customers - antenna simulation makes a huge difference in the design process.

Antenna Magus, an extensive antenna synthesis tool, has a database of over 200 antennas. The database can be explored to choose the optimal topology which can then be designed for specific criteria and exported to seamlessly integrate with the design workflow. Antenna Magus offers designers an unmatched combination of flexible design capabilities, concise and accessible information (including references to relevant literature and research resources) and exportable simulation models for CST MICROWAVE STUDIO®.

Aspiring to cover a broad range of antennas with information that enables engineers to consider various options with minimal time and effort, the use of Antenna Magus is valuable in various stages of the design process:
  • First order designs that have been validated against reference data are readily available, allowing the elementary and research steps at the start of the design process to be surpassed.
  • Using the ‘estimate performance’ feature, analysis can be carried out quickly, giving an indication of whether an element is suitable for the final design. Certain approximations can be made because of the known topology and environment of the antenna, which reduce the analysis time.
  • The information management system provides engineers with a framework to store and work upon information like documents, sketches, design algorithms, measure data and models. It can also be accessed by other team members for efficient knowledge-sharing.
With the demand for high-performance antennas increasing, antenna simulation seems to be the solution to not only simplify the antenna design process, but also improve accuracy, performance and costs. A trial version is available here to let you discover the benefits of Antenna Magus for yourself.

Friday, February 22, 2013

University Publication Award 2013: Accepting Papers

To acknowledge the importance of universities in facilitating the exchange of ideas, we launched the CST University Publication Award in 2003. The award recognizes the importance of university publications and research and commends the submissions for demonstrating the practical applications of simulation.  

The award has grown significantly since its launch, but our selection process has remained relatively consistent. Chosen papers must be authored or co-authored by academic researchers, must have been published either in scientific journals or in conference proceedings, and most importantly, papers must have used numerical results that were entirely, or in part, obtained using CST software. We evaluate the submitted papers on a number of criteria, including:

  • originality of the application and/or theory,
  • clarity of the presentation,
  • skilful use of the CST software features.

We’re now in the process of collecting all our submissions for the University Publication Award 2013 – we are accepting papers until March 31, 2013. Although the deadline is near, you still have time to send us your papers - your respective university could be awarded with an upgraded license valid for one year.

For a snapshot of winning papers, the following were selected to receive the CST University Publication Award 2012:
Short papers:
Alongside this initiative, we also offer special educational and research licenses, as well as student-friendly classroom versions of our simulation tools, providing teachers and lecturers with cutting-edge modeling and representational tools. A decade after beginning the University Publication Award, we’re glad that our close relationships with universities around the world continue.

Submission Guidelines
Universities are invited to apply for this award by sending contributions published between April 1st 2012 and March 31st 2013 in electronic format to events(at)cst.com, stating the place of publication. Papers should be submitted in English.  

If you would like further information regarding our special university conditions, please contact CST.