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.