Skip navigation
All Places > Keysight Blogs > EEsof EDA > Blog > 2017 > February

The Internet of Things (IoT) fulfills a promise of a more efficient and connected world. But with dozens of devices per household, battery management must become wireless and autonomous. This problem is now being solved through power harvesting, which enables a circuit to power itself from energy in the environment. This white paper discusses efforts from Ericsson and the University of Freiburg to develop wireless power of a couple of hundred nanowatts at 1V to power a sensor node. 

The challenge was to satisfy the impedance matching requirement when the antenna, resonator, and matching components were connected to the nonlinear load of the pair of Schottky microwave detector diodes, used as rectifiers. The ADS Harmonic Balance simulator was used to design the impedance matching circuit. Read the paper, “RF Energy Harvesting Design Using High Q Resonators” to learn more details about how Ericsson and Frieburg University designed a high Q power harvesting circuit using Keysight ADS.


Learn how ADS can help you in your power harvesting designs by clicking HERE for a free trial.

Every year, the top signal integrity, power integrity, and high-speed design experts present their insights and results at DesignCon. This year my colleague, Heidi Barnes, won DesignCon Engineer of the Year. Heidi is a Senior Application Engineer for High-Speed Digital applications in the EEsof EDA Group of Keysight Technologies. Below is the list of papers she authored for DesignCon2017: 

  • Accurate Statistical-Based DDR4 Margin Estimation using SSN Induced Jitter Model
  • Non-Destructive Analysis and EM Model Tuning of PCB Signal Traces using the Beatty Standard



You can now download these two papers, and all of the DesignCon 2017 technical papers featuring Keysight EEsof EDA authors here:

RF and microwave designs are usually sensitive to the physical dimensions of the layout. You can use ADS to vary dimensions and investigate performance. This workshop (that you can go through on your own) shows ways of parameterizing the physical dimensions of a layout so you can efficiently sweep or optimize them, even using EM simulations.

Here is a brief summary of what you will you be learning: 

  • How to automate ADS such that it will vary dimensions and/or location of objects in your layout
  •  How to vary the length of a line and separation between coupled lines of an edge coupled filter to optimize the response 
  • How to create MIM capacitor on GaAs which supports rectangular shapes, with any desired length and width  

Obtain the workshop material from the Keysight EEsof Knowledge Center (a login is required):

I just got back from DesignCon 2017, the premier conference for chip, board, and systems design engineers held annually in Santa Clara, CA. This year did not disappoint. With so many design engineers from Silicon Valley and all over the world, you can be sure that the latest technologies were being discussed for high-speed digital designs.  


What was hot?

  • 112 Gbps PAM-4. Speeds are ramping up and 112 Gbps is legit.
  • DuoBinary Signaling. Another modulation format that might just get you more speed.
  • DDR4 & DDR5. Especially with a focus on equalization and more formal statistical simulation methods.
  • Chiphead. He always made time to stop for pictures.

DesignCon, Chiphead

What was not?

  • PAM-8. This higher order modulation suffers from an even further reduced Signal-to-Noise ratio.  Doesn’t look like a prime candidate for the next wave of innovation.    
  • Silicon photonics. Progressively moving ahead, chip-to-chip optical links are closer to being a serious technology contender.  No end to the reign of the electrical backplane for the foreseeable future.        
  • USB Type-C. Interest in USB 3.1 on its own is very last year.  Now the talk turns to the wider adoption of USB Type-C physical layer as a way to bundle USB/Thunderbolt3/DisplayPort signaling.  One connector to rule them all… 
  • The weather. It rained the whole week.

Keysight, software, services, umbrella

My colleague, Heidi Barnes, won DesignCon Engineer of the Year. You might remember her from my previous post, Underwater hockey playing design engineer. It was great to watch her in the Panel Discussion with previous winners, Mike Steinberger (2015) and Eric Bogatin (2016). Heidi was on the DesignCon planning committee and also presented many papers at the show (you can download them here)

Heidi Barnes, DesignCon Engineer of the Year


As for Keysight EEsof EDA, we had a great show. Last year we launched SIPro & PIPro, two new EM analysis solutions, which work inside Keysight ADS to provide transient circuit simulation and channel simulation technologies for analysis of high-speed serial links and memory systems. This year we met with many of our customers who have already adopted SIPro and PIPro, and incorporated it into their flow.

DesignCon, SIPro, PIPro, Keysight EEsof EDA


We just released ADS 2016 Update 1, incorporating new Mesh Domain Optimization (MDO) technology, which reduces simulation time even further, by more than 2x compared to the initial release, for SI and PI analyses.


Looking forward to even more improvements in SIPro & PIPro in 2017.


sipro, pipro, free trial

IC design stands on the shoulders of device modeling and characterization. The semiconductor industry depends on fast and accurate device models as circuits are pushed to higher frequencies, device geometries are becoming ever smaller with ever higher chip device count. Without adequate models, IC designers cannot accurately simulate their circuits, leading to poor circuit performance on the lab bench. At larger companies like Intel and Analog Devices, entire groups are devoted to device characterization and model extraction, dealing with mountains of data, as semiconductor processes are fine-tuned. 

Device modeling is a significant challenge, requiring combined expertise in disparate areas:

  • low leakage DC measurements with pA accuracy
  • highly sensitive RF measurements to 100 GHz and beyond
  • wafer probing methodologies – RF, DC, probe card, etc.
  • the latest advances in device models – BSIMCMG, HiSIM_HV, etc.
  • model extractions using IC-CAP or Model Builder Program
  • guaranteeing that model will simulate OK on all simulation platforms
  • designing on-wafer test structures to expose process parameters
  • understanding and modeling the variation of device parameters within a process and across the wafer
  • measuring and predicting device reliability
  • refining model libraries provided by foundries
  • comparing devices from different foundries using existing models
  • measurement automation software and data handling


Especially in fast-moving areas of the semiconductor industry, like mobile phone development, IoT or automotive circuits, time-to-market is critical. More and more, companies are requiring customer delivery of first prototypes from the first round of silicon, especially considering the fact that a mask run can cost more than $300,000. What does this mean for modeling and characterization groups? Their role is critical. Trying out a model that is not very well understood and taking extra months to get it right can mean losing an entire market window. To deliver today’s product successfully, we need the peace of mind that is accompanied with a solid validation of device models across temperature, process variation, etc.



A typical device modeling and characterization lab has the following:

  • Skilled model extraction engineers
  • Skilled test engineers
  • Probing systems with appropriate probes for both RF and DC testing
  • test equipment with cables and accessories
  • software to drive measurements and analysis
  • software for model extraction and model quality analysis


Getting anyone these wrong will cost your team millions of dollars. Fortunately, we at Keysight Technologies understand all these concerns and have assisted numerous large companies to navigate these waters, providing device modeling services for advanced devices based on a long history of working with RF & Microwave and device modeling technologies. Keysight not only supports state-of-the-art device models such as BSIM6, BSIM-CMG, and BSIM-IMG but also provides modeling services for our own models such as the DynaFET model.


Contact Keysight for your upcoming device modeling needs.


contact an expert