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How to Account for Thermal Effects in Your Design

Blog Post created by kaelly_farnham Employee on Jun 19, 2017

Understanding the impact thermal effects can have on your circuit design is critical to being able to adequately account for them during the design process. It’s also essential to designing your circuit in an efficient way. But that’s easier said than done. A recently released video from Wolfspeed may offer you some much-needed help.

 

The solution involves using the Wolfspeed MMIC process design kit (PDK) that works in Keysight EEsof EDA’s Advanced Design System (ADS) software. A key feature of the Wolfspeed ADS MMIC PDK is that it’s configured to work with the ADS Electro-Thermal Simulator to co-simulate electrical and thermal performance. The feature is a powerful tool that allows you to account for the significant thermal effects that can occur when using a high-power density technology like GaN.

To demonstrate this capability, the video details the example of a simple, single-pole tuned 10-GHz power amplifier. The design uses a 1.2-mm FET and its goal is to put out about 5 watts at temperature.

Layout of the single-pole tuned 10-GHz power amplifier, designed using only elements from the PDK itself.

The layout of the single-pole tuned 10-GHz power amplifier, designed using only elements from the PDK itself.

 

 Schematic of the electro-thermal simulation of the single-pole tuned 10-GHz power amplifier.

Schematic of the electro-thermal simulation of the single-pole tuned 10-GHz power amplifier.

 

Data display of the simulation of the single-pole tuned 10-GHz power amplifier from Keysight ADS software.

Data display of the simulation of the single-pole tuned 10-GHz power amplifier from Keysight ADS software.

 

With the ADS Electro-Thermal Simulator, Wolfspeed was able to get an accurate, “temperature aware” IC simulation result for the PA using device temperatures that took into account both thermal coupling and the thermal characteristics of the package.

Electro-thermal simulation of the single-pole tuned 10-GHz power amplifier. Peak is at 180 degrees.

 Electro-thermal simulation of the single-pole tuned 10-GHz power amplifier. The peak is at 180 degrees.

 

3D view of the electro-thermal simulation of the single-pole tuned 10-GHz power amplifier.

3D view of the electro-thermal simulation of the single-pole tuned 10-GHz power amplifier.

 

For specific details on how the ADS Electro-Thermal simulator was used in the design of the 10-GHz PA, watch the video below.

 

More information on the ADS Electro-Thermal Simulator is available here.

 

free trial, ADS, Keysight

http://www.keysight.com/find/mytrial.rfmw.blg

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