Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The CST Korean User Conference 2014

The CST Korean User Conference continues to grow each year, attracting various users from both academia and industry. This year 170 people joined us for the one-day event on April 10 to network with peers and to take a closer look at the latest version of CST STUDIO SUITE®.

Application talks were presented on the topics of EMC, multiphysics and microwaves and RF, as well as user-based presentations showcasing specific design challenges.

Attendees were particularly interested in the new functions of CST STUDIO SUITE 2014 and were able to benefit from the peer-to-peer interchange of knowledge.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The CST US Workshop Series 2014 Kicks-Off

The end of April marks the commencement of the CST US Workshop Series 2014. With stops in ten different cities across the country, the events will focus on demonstrating the capabilities and benefits of CST STUDIO SUITE® 2014 and and its integration with partner products from Synopsys, Delcross and Optenni Lab.

These workshops are an opportunity for you to find out more about designing and optimizing electromagnetic components and systems with the help of virtual prototyping.  There have been major advances in both software and computing hardware in recent years and realistic large scale simulation of full devices and systems is now possible in relatively short run times, helping you ensure your system will meet specs and regulations before it’s built.

 If you have never used EM simulation or CST STUDIO SUITE before, please join us to see how this advanced technology can benefit you directly.

The agenda will include a live demo of CST STUDIO SUITE 2014 as well as application-specific workflow examples in the areas of microwaves & RF, antennas, electronics, EMC/EMI and multiphysics.

All the workshops are free to attend and lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Click on the links below for more information and to register online.

April 29 – Baltimore, Maryland: Microwaves & RF, Antenna
April 29 – Seattle, Washington: Microwaves & RF, Antenna, EMC/EMI
May 6 – Santa Clara, California: Microwaves & RF, Antenna (morning session)
May 6 – Santa Clara, California: EMC/EMI, EDA (afternoon session)
May 13 – Framingham, Massachusetts: Microwaves & RF, Antenna (with hands on afternoon session)
May 13 – Framingham, Massachusetts: Microwaves & RF, Antenna (morning session only)
May 13 – Irvine, California: Microwaves & RF, Antenna (morning session)
May 13 – Irvine, California: EMC/EMI, EDA (afternoon session)
May 20 – Chicago, Illinois: Microwaves & RF, Antenna
June 10 – Dallas, Texas: Microwaves & RF, EMC/EMI
June 12 – Framingham, Massachusetts: Low Frequency
June 18 – Framingham, Massachusetts: EMC/EMI and SI/PI
July 1 – Denver, Colorado: Microwaves & RF, EMC/EMI
July 29 – Melville, New York: Microwaves & RF, EMC/EMI

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Version Control in CST STUDIO SUITE 2014

No matter how powerful and versatile the simulation product is, it will always be limited unless it’s also user-friendly and works well with other tools. CST devotes large amounts of development time to improving the workflow of CST STUDIO SUITE, and making it easier to for users to just simulate their models.

One new feature in CST STUDIO SUITE 2014 is version control for imported CAD models. This is designed to help users working in large teams to keep track of all the changes to the device without having to reset the simulation environment for each design iteration. For instance, in many electronics companies, EM engineers might receive weekly or daily updates to the CAD data from other departments. This updated data may contain new components or remove old components, and can sometimes significantly affect the behavior of a device.

The simple example shown here is the casing for a phone, imported in CST STUDIO SUITE as a STEP file. 

The model includes an LCD screen, which is modeled as a different material and subject to local mesh refinement.

After the user imports the phone model, however, the design department updates the CAD file. The next time CST STUDIO SUITE is opened, this change is automatically detected and the software asks whether the simulation project should be updated as well.
The updated model is loaded into the project. The material and mesh settings are kept, which means that the model doesn’t need to be set up again, and the simulation can proceed as normal. CST STUDIO SUITE also keeps track of which elements have been added and removed between designs to help the user track changes and ensure that the new model is ready to be simulated.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five Reasons for Going to the CST European User Conference

If you haven’t already heard of the CST European User Conference (EUC) to be held on May 7-9 in Berlin, Germany – it’s an annual event that attracts engineers from industry and academia to discuss the topics surrounding CST STUDIO SUITE® tools and future developments.
So what are the benefits of attending?

1.    User-based applications
The preliminary program has just been published and included in the schedule are customer talks from topics such as antennas, EDA, EMC, particle accelerators, high power microwaves, optics, low frequency, bio-EM, optical frequencies, metamaterials, components and high performance computing. Attendees will be able to gain in-depth insight on a range of technical applications directly from our users.

2.    Special guest speakers
This year, we have the pleasure of welcoming two special guest speakers. Dr. Wolfgang Heinrich, Head of the Microwave Department at the Ferdinand-Braun-Institut (FBH) will present a keynote talk titled, “Design and Characterization of Integrated Circuits at Frequencies Beyond 100 GHz”. Dr. Bruce Archambeault, member of the Board of Directors for the IEEE EMC Society, will be presenting two talks on EMC as well as running one of the mini training sessions in the pre-EUC program, titled “How to Manage EMC and SI on PCBs”.

3.    Industry partners
Our industry partners will be at EUC to showcase their products at the industrial exhibition. Attendees will be able to speak directly to representatives from Delcross Technologies, Magus Pty Ltd, Optenni Ltd, CADnetwork and Nvidia and find out how their products can be used together with CST software. Have a look at what they had to say at EUC 2013.

4.    Meeting CST staff
EUC provides the opportunity to ask CST staff technical questions as well as the chance to network with experts in particular application areas. Parallel to the talks, there will also be specific time slots open where our support staff will be available to answer queries.

5.    A social event at the German Bundestag
As EUC will take place in the German capital, Berlin, we have organized a social event on May 8 with a visit to the German Bundestag. The evening begins with a tour of the historical building, now used as the meeting place for the German parliament, followed by a relaxed evening dinner in the roof top restaurant.

If you haven’t already, it’s not too late to register, simply head to our website for more information.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Time Dependent Materials in CST STUDIO SUITE 2014

Our powerful time domain solver has long been one of our key strengths. In order to improve our transient simulation capabilities even further, CST STUDIO SUITE 2014 adds a new feature: time-dependent conductivity materials.

These materials are really useful for situations where the system undergoes a switching action or a breakdown, such as a spark gap switch. In this switch, the two poles are separated by a short gap – when the voltage across the poles becomes great enough, an arc forms and the switch closes. The path of the arc itself can be modeled as a material with time-dependent conductivity – before the spark forms, its conductivity is essentially zero, while after ionization, its conductivity is massive.

In previous versions of CST STUDIO SUITE, this system would be modeled by treating the air gap as a lumped element switch in a transient/circuit co-simulation. Time-dependent conductivity materials offer an alternative approach, with several additional capabilities beyond those of lumped elements. For one thing, the switching response can be modeled. The arc doesn’t simply come into being suddenly, it forms over a time of about 300 ps. This effect is captured by the time-dependent conductivity material.

Modeling the spark gap in 3D also means that its actual shape – for example, the radius of the arc – can be taken into account. This means that the physics of the switch can be modeled more accurately by the simulation.

A spark-gap switch, closed at 2000 ps.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Developing new EMC simulation methods with SEISME

(Left) A TEM cell for measuring emissions from a PCB. (Right) A model of a PCB in a TEM cell in CST STUDIO SUITE, using measured data as a source.
When designing electronic systems, engineers can spend much of their time hunting and resolving potential electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) problems. With the help of the SEISME project, of which we are a member, these EMC issues should have fewer places to hide.

SEISME is a research consortium made up of industrial and academic partners based mainly in Aerospace Valley in south west France, and includes companies working in the fields of semiconductors, automotive, aviation, space and defense. As well as being French for “earthquake”, SEISME also stands for “Simulation de l’Emission et de l’Immunité des Systèmes et des Modules Electroniques” (“Simulation of Emissions and Immunity of Electronic Systems and Modules”).

The goal of SEISME is to develop new techniques to allow the EMC properties of products to be analyzed using simulation, allowing modeling to complement traditional measurements and opening new possibilities for electronic design. New components come onto the market all the time, and often engineers would like to replace an obsolete component with its newer equivalent. However, even if the components have the same function, they may not have the same EMC behavior.

At present, engineers have to analyze the EMC properties of rebuilt systems in the lab. SEISME aims to complement the testing process by devising a standardized approach for EMC simulation. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has published a specification for simulating conducted emissions on integrated circuits – SEISME will create similar specifications for both conducted and radiated emissions and immunity, not just for integrated circuits but also for PCBs and devices.

Participation in SEISME allows us to see firsthand how customers use CST STUDIO SUITE® in their workflow, and use this information to improve our EMC capabilities. We can also bring our experience of electromagnetic simulation to bear to help the engineers and researchers from SEISME’s partners to produce the specifications for EMC simulation.

The three year project started in 2011, and runs until 2014. We are excited to be part of this collaborative project to benefit engineers and shape the future standards of EMC simulation.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Field Source Coupling Wizard in CST STUDIO SUITE 2014

We have put the finishing touches to the latest version of our flagship simulation product, CST STUDIO SUITE®, and have recently announced its worldwide release. When developing the 2014 version, one of our major goals was to make it easier for users to combine different solver types into a multi-scale simulation flow process.

Previous versions of CST STUDIO SUITE introduced System Assembly and Modeling (SAM), which makes it possible for field results from one simulation to be used as the basis of the next. This has been developed in CST STUDIO SUITE 2014 with greater cross-compatibility between solvers and a new wizard for setting up field sources.

An antenna mounted on a car body

This feature is especially useful to engineers who work on applications such as EMC/EMI and antenna placement or who use field measurements. These applications all have in common the fact that they often require the analysis of a small radiating source in a relatively large structure – this might be a component causing interference inside an electronic device, or an antenna mounted on a vehicle.

The near-field source equivalent of the antenna (left) mounted on the car body (right).

The SAM project is set up in the Schematic view. After selecting the “Field Source Coupling” option in the Create Simulation Project tool, the software will ask which model or models should be used as sources, and which model is the target. The full system is then automatically constructed by the software, based on the anchor points of the different models.

Installed performance of the antenna, calculated with the near-field source

Simulations can be linked using both nearfield and farfield sources, depending on the requirements of the project, with numerous possible combinations of solvers. By combining different solver types, a wide range of different systems can be simulated more efficiently.

Friday, April 4, 2014

CST to Showcase EM Simulation Tools at EDI CON 2014

We are going to Beijing to visit the Electronic Design Innovation Conference (EDI CON) from April 8-10, 2014 – a show focusing on the high-frequency and high-speed electronics industry. As gold sponsors of the conference, we will be presenting workshops that look at how electromagnetic (EM) simulation can be used when designing electronic devices, touching on topics such as high-speed and signal integrity analysis as well as EMC/EMI design.

The best place to find us is at booth no. 117, but we’ll also be participating in the technical conference and co-chairing the measurement and modeling track.

Check out our schedule for the show:
  • MIMO Antenna System Simulation
Tuesday 8 April, 15:30 – 16:15 (Room D, 203 B)
Multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) systems are a major field of study for researchers interested in achieving high data rate communication in typical urban multi-path environments. Although a fast analysis can be based on S-parameters, this approach has limitations. A more detailed analysis needs to take into account broadband, farfield and antenna properties. These are especially important in presence of the human body. This workshop will show how simulation can be used to calculate the effect of hand and head (e.g. CTIA models) on mobile devices, MIMO for wearable antennas and different power weighting functions for different environments, along with post-processing options for envelope correlation (including spatial power weighting functions), derived quantities  diversity gain and multiplexing efficiency. Finally, there will be a demonstration of the link between CST MICROWAVE STUDIO® and Optenni Lab for multiple antenna matching to optimize power transfer to antennas while minimizing cross-coupling.
  • High-Speed and High-Power Connector Design
Wednesday 9 April, 9:15 – 9:35 (Room E, 203 C)
As data transfer rates increase and complexity grows, designing high-speed connectors is becoming increasingly challenging, especially with multiple compliance regulations to meet. A precise analysis of the connector in isolation as well as the connector and PCB interface is essential, and can be only achieved by extensive use of 3D EM simulation during the development cycle. Multiple examples, including display connectors and USB 3.0 connectors will be used to demonstrate features such as online TDR and cross-probing, with the aim of identifying impedance mismatches and discontinuities. A low-speed high-power connector analysis using multidisciplinary approaches (including electrical and thermal effects) will also be presented.
  • Simulation and Measurement: Complementary Design Tools
Wednesday 9 April, 13:30 – 14:15 (Room D, 203 B)
The usual aim of electromagnetic simulation in design is to lower the number of prototypes to reduce costs and time to market. However, this is only possible when the EM simulator is given the correct input data that accurately represents the physical device. Then an excellent agreement between simulation and measurement can be expected. There are many possible causes of discrepancies between the two, including geometric differences (over-etching, over-milling, rounded corners), material properties (anisotropic dielectrics, surface roughness), installed performance (surrounding structures) and feed discrepancies (connector modeling). In this workshop we will explore the relationship between simulation, using CST STUDIO SUITE®, and measurement, and explain what each domain is best suited for. In some situations measurement can be difficult to perform while simulation is simpler, and vice versa. Simulation allows many variations on a design to be investigated, using techniques such as parameter sweeps, sensitivity and yield analysis. We will show how simulation can be used for what-if analysis and feasibility studies at early stage of design before first prototypes. Finally, the use of measured data to calibrate simulation will be shown. This is useful for hard-to-model phenomena like surface roughness or for the modeling of low-cost adapters.
  • EDA Design Flow Panel
Thursday 10 April, 14:15 – 15:00 (Room B, 201 D)
We will be participating in this panel session.

If you happen to be in Beijing for the show, remember to drop by booth no. 117 for a chat or head to one of our workshops to get more insight on electromagnetic simulation.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

EuCAP 2014

We always enjoy going to the European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP). It attracts experts from all over Europe and the diverse technical program helps keep us abreast of the latest research and applications.

This year’s EuCAP takes place on 6 – 11 April, 2014 in The Hague, Netherlands. CST will not only be supporting the event as platinum sponsors, but we’ll also be taking part in a few of the show’s activities. If you’re heading to EuCAP this year, have a look at the sessions below.

  • CST Workshop on Advanced Antenna System Simulation with CST MICROWAVE STUDIO® 2014
Tuesday 8 April, 11:00 – 12:00, Room: Europe 2
  • CST Workshop on Simulation of Installed Antenna Performance with CST MICROWAVE STUDIO® 2014
Wednesday 9 April, 11:00 - 12:00, Room: Europe 2
  • CST Workshop on Advanced Antenna System Simulation with CST MICROWAVE STUDIO® 2014
Thursday 10 April, 11:00 - 12:00, Room: Europe 2

  • EVEREST Simulation Campaign Results on Multipactor Effect Using CST PARTICLE STUDIO
Wednesday 9 April, 10:00, Room: Antarctica
Ahmed Al-Mudhafar (Technische Universität Darmstadt & Institut für Mikrowellentechnik und Photonik, Germany); Jerome Peuch (CNES, France)
  • Contact-less RF and Optical Measurement of Antenna Array Active Impedance Using Scattering Data
Thursday 10 April, 17:40, Room: Amazon
Zeev Illuz (Tel Aviv University & CST AG, Israel); Amir Boag (Tel Aviv University, Israel)
  • Bringing Numerical Simulation and Antenna Measurements Together
Friday 11 April, 10:00, Room: Mississippi
Lars Jacob Fogged (Microwave Vision Italy, Italy); Lucia Scialacgua (SATIMO, Italy); Francesco Saccardi (SATIMO, Italy); Francesca Mioc (Consultant, Switzerland); David Tallini (CST, Germany), Emmanuel Leroux (CST, Italy); Ulrich Becker (CST, Germany); Javier Leonardo Arque Quijano (Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia); Giuseppe Vecchi (Politecnico di Torino, Italy).


CST will also be exhibiting at the show from 7 – 10 April. Drop by our booth at the industrial exhibition site to discuss antenna simulation.