AWR’s AXIEM 3D Planar Electromagnetic (EM) Solver Enables TriQuint Semiconductor to Solve Entire Monolithic
Microwave Integrated Circuit (MMIC)
Segundo, CA — December 10, 2009 — The Story: TriQuint Semiconductor has used AXIEM software to simulate
an entire MMIC non-uniform distributed power amplifier (NDPA) on a quad-core PC with 4 Gbytes of RAM and a 32-bit
operating system. It is first time the company has been able to electromagnetically simulate an entire structure
of this size on a desktop PC.
warfare (EW) systems require MMIC amplifiers that deliver high power over broad bandwidths with high efficiency,
for which TriQuint’s NDPA approach is extremely well suited. However, designing these complex devices requires
accurate EM data up to the fifth to seventh harmonic frequency, which results in a very large mesh/matrix of up to
32 ports and 30,000 unknowns. As a result, solving the entire structure has not been practical using available EM
However, AXIEM’s near-linear scaling allowed TriQuint to simulate the entire NDPA MMIC from DC to
120 GHz in under 2 minutes per frequency. The achievement was made possible by AXIEM’s shape pre-processor and
hybrid adaptive meshing algorithms, which decreased the final mesh size to just over 6,000 unknowns. The MMIC
demonstrates saturated RF output power of 9 to 15 W over a broad frequency range of 1.5 and 17 GHz with
power-added efficiency greater than 20%.