Avishtech Introduces Latest Generation of Its Revolutionary Gauss 2D Field Solver Tool
New Tool Addresses Ground Plane Losses, Broadband Extraction of Dk, DF, and Roughness, and a Higher Level of Granularity and Accuracy for High Frequency, High Data Rate Designs
San Jose, Calif., April 06, 2021 — Avishtech (www.avishtech.com), the leading provider of innovative EDA stack-up and 2D field solver solutions, today announced the availability of the latest version of its Gauss 2D Field Solver toolset. This toolset delivers to the PCB design arena first-of-its-kind accurate insertion loss modeling that accounts for ground plane losses, new capabilities for broadband extraction of dielectric properties and conductor roughness parameters directly from S-Parameters, and a higher level of accuracy and granularity, all of which are critical for the successful creation of today’s high frequency, high data rate designs.
Keshav Amla, CEO and founder of Avishtech notes, “Today’s designs have such tight constraints with little tolerance for missteps. What makes this into a very costly problem is that existing simulation software struggles to accurately model key properties, like loss. This translates into a reality where designers operating at the high end need to build many iterations of test boards, with multiple redesigns. Simply put, you cannot design for something that cannot be predicted, and one slight misstep in one area may compromise the entire product as well as its long-term market viability and profitability.”
The two most critical factors that Gauss 2D addresses are ground plane losses and broadband extraction. Amla notes, “As dielectric thicknesses get thinner and frequencies get higher, there is increased loss in the ground plane. This proximity effect can count for 30-35% or more of total loss at higher frequencies. For example, if you’re designing for 112 Gbps/channel PAM-4, you have a set loss budget of 28 dB for a 40-inch line. This means, you only have a loss budget of 0.7 dB/inch so the proximity effect becomes a crucial design aspect. The ground plane losses become very critical for 28 GHz applications that designers are trying to bring to market as well as the automotive radar operations that run between 77 to 81 GHz.”
He adds, “With the conductor loss models that are used in other field solvers, you can actually end up believing you have a bit of head room for loss. The model that accounts for ground plane losses is unique to our toolset and will show when you are actually above your loss budget, so that you don’t need to build a series of Signal Integrity test vehicles. This is the level of accuracy and granularity that can enable today’s high frequency, high data rate designs.”
In addition to accounting for ground plane losses, the other key unique feature of Gauss 2D is broadband extraction. The toolset has a physics-based, machine learning enhanced algorithm that enables extraction of key parameters that can impact a design, directly from a set of S-Parameters. Broadband Extraction is able to decouple, from measured insertion loss, the dielectric loss, the zero-roughness conductor loss and the roughness loss. The algorithm goes one step further to use these specific loss components to provide the broadband Dk and DF over the full frequency range of measurement as well as the roughness parameters.
Amla explains, “Our algorithm is very accurate and allows our users to effectively perform testing of their dielectrics and their conductors in a much easier, more reliable, and inexpensive fashion than previously available in the marketplace. We also offer power-handling predictions for RF microstrip lines. The thermal conductivity of the selected material is entered and then Gauss 2D runs a simulation of the line widths being used and is able to tell you how much power you can actually push through those lines and still stay within your operating temperatures. For stripline configurations, Gauss 2D also enables you to simulate the neat resin between the traces, with the specified Dk and DF parameters.”
Amla states, “Along with full RLGC, loss, impedance, effective dielectric properties, and propagation delay, S-Parameters, and full frequency dependent properties, our offering also provides synthesis capability that eliminates a lot of the guesswork that goes into most design development operations. Rather than a trial-and-error approach to determining the line widths you need to hit a target impedance, you can just specify a single-ended or differential impedance target and Gauss 2D will iteratively seek the line widths that bring you within a specified threshold of your impedance target.”
Amla concludes, “The combination of our two toolsets allows us to meet both the functionality and cost-of-design needs for our customers. Where Gauss Stack allows for manufacturability, thermomechanical, and reliability simulations, as well as the first pass for signal integrity, Gauss 2D provides the more detailed and granular view, allowing users to iterate between the two tools, rather than having to iterate through test boards and respins. Our goal is to help our customers get to the optimized, functional PCB they need for the end-product design in the shortest amount of time and least expensive way possible.”
Product Availability and Delivery
Gauss 2D is available now. Similar to Gauss Stack, Gauss 2D, is available through a subscription-based customer fulfillment model. Each year, an Avishtech customer buys an annual subscription, based on their design needs criteria, and all the enhancements, additions and technology advancements made to the product during that subscription period are included in the subscription price. System software requirements include: OS Microsoft Windows 10 (64 bit); Recommended CPU—64-bit Intel i7 Quad Core processor running at 4.0 GHz or better (Requirement: 64-bit Intel Dual core processor running at 3.0 GHz); Recommended memory—16 GB or higher (Requirement 8 GB or higher).
Avishtech is a San Jose, CA-based high technology company founded in 2015 on the principle of using a multidisciplinary approach to build the materials-driven technologies of the future. Avishtech’s Gauss line of simulation and design software embodies its long-standing commitment to rigorous and thorough research and development, coupled with its core goal of achieving the highest levels of performance and reliability. For more information about Avishtech and its products, please visit www.avishtech.com or telephone +1-408-650-6726.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What differentiates Gauss 2D from other field solvers?
The two primary innovations that set Gauss 2D apart are the ability to accurately model and include ground plane losses and broadband extraction capabilities.
Ground plane losses are present in all transmission lines. They are simply the portion of the loss that are generated in the return path. However, this phenomenon is ignored in all competitive offerings. Back in the day when frequencies were in the MHz range and dielectric thicknesses were large, the ground plane losses were insignificant, so this was not a problem. However, once frequencies started to go above 1 GHz and as dielectric thicknesses started to shrink, ground plane losses started to become very significant, and can account for up to 35%+ of the loss in today’s high frequency, high data-rate designs. Gauss 2D accurately models these losses and includes them in its simulations for excellent correlation with measured insertion loss, without the need for fudge factors or tuning.
The second innovation in Gauss 2D is the broadband extraction capability. Within this utility, the designer can take a set of single-ended S parameters in a Touchstone file that can then be fed into the Gauss 2D Field Solver. Gauss 2D uses a physics-based, machine-learning algorithm (which can be given as a Hammerstad or RMS value if desired) to extract the copper conductor roughness across the Dk and DF frequency range. The algorithm decouples the insertion loss to provide the dielectric loss, zero roughness conductor loss and roughness loss. This capability is not available in any other tool in the market.
- Which specific aspects of the product development process benefit from this unique functionality?
For high frequency, high data rate designs, we offer a greater level of granularity and accuracy not found in traditional 2D field solver toolsets. While Gauss 2D is a field solver, it is also a fully frequency-dependent tool that allows the SI engineer to look at all of the properties of interest including impedance, loss, propagation delay, effective dielectric properties that include the effect of the roughness, and full RLGC. Gauss 2D also includes a causal roughness model that takes the roughness effect on the imaginary component of the inductance into account. The analysis undertaken in Gauss 2D is done post stack-up so that the information obtained more closely aligns with the final, as-built PCB. When a need for change is found in Gauss 2D, that information is iterated back to Gauss Stack so that the appropriate changes can made to the design configuration. This is done as a “what if” process where design changes are made in Gauss Stack and then those are forwarded to Gauss 2D so that the changes can be fine-tuned to reach the final, ideal configuration of the PCB. The goal of this process is to optimize the design process and reduce the number of design iterations, respins and delays in product manufacturing which, in turn, can affect the overall viability and profitability of the end product.
In addition, within Gauss 2D, there are multiconductor configurations that enable users to run busses of microstrips or striplines. Gauss 2D also enables a user to obtain higher accuracy by specifying neat resin properties within a stripline configuration, as what is present between the dielectrics is pure resin. These Neat Resin properties can also be extracted from a construction using the Neat Resin Extraction utility within Gauss 2D.
There are also many additional configurations that can be run, such as coplanar waveguides, single vs. dual dielectric configurations (full multilayer dielectrics), shielded configurations and anisotropic configurations (where both in-plane and out-of-plane dielectric properties are used).
Gauss 2D also offers power-handling predictions for RF microstrips. This is achieved by inputting the thermal conductivity of the material being used after running a simulation of the line widths. The tool will then predict how much power can be pushed through the transmission line while still staying within the operating temperature window.
- Which existing/new customers will gain the most benefit from these innovations and which technologies/market drivers make these innovations necessary?
Gauss 2D has been developed to best address the needs of today’s high frequency, high data rate designs. These designs have such tight constraints in terms of their flexibility that there is very little if no leeway for errors. The need to have these designs perform right the first time and every time thereafter requires the ability to qualify and quantify end-product structural and operating conditions at a new and different level. One slight mistake in one area may affect the manufacturability, operability, reliability and life cycle of the product. Both Gauss 2D and Gauss Stack address all of these issues in a unique, very accurate way.
- What are the specific benefits realized from this latest generation of Gauss 2D?
We offer better accuracy than even the most high-end tools can deliver and, at the same time, we offer greater ease-of-use than any of the simplest toolsets on the market. Most any configuration that a product developer would want to run is available as a predefined geometry within Gauss 2D and can be selected with just a few clicks with no set up time required.
With high-end, finite-element based tools, the accuracy of the results is very user-dependent and they typically require the designer to create the geometries and then mesh them, as well. This approach is extremely lengthy and the end result will still be less accurate than what is achievable with Gauss 2D.
What we have built in Gauss 2D is something that captures what a designer really cares about for a transmission line. This is where Gauss Stack and Gauss 2D work hand in hand. In Gauss Stack, the designer determines the materials and constructions that are going to be used. Then, using Gauss 2D, the SI engineers will use Gauss 2D to take a deeper dive into the materials and constructions to check for loss, impedance and frequency-dependent behavior. And thus, any necessary iterations can be handled within the Gauss ecosystem, rather than through prototypes and respins.
- How are successive iterations/innovations of Gauss Stack delivered to its customers?
Answer: Unlike the traditional EDA per seat licensing business model, Gauss Stack and Gauss 2D are provided via a subscription service.
All customers for the Gauss tools are upgraded to the latest version for free as part of their software subscriptions. It’s important to note that, despite the vast feature set and key differentiators found in its Gauss products, Avishtech’s offerings are very affordable, especially when compared to other vendors’ toolsets.
- Given the content and information that is provided in Avishtech’s Gauss Stack and Gauss 2D toolsets, how easy are the toolsets to learn/use?
Answer: We have put considerable time and energy in making our tools easy to learn and use. The ease-of-use is a core aspect of Avishtech’s design and development philosophy. Successive iterations of our toolsets will all have the same look and feel so that it will be easy for product developers to get up to speed on the new features and capabilities of our upgraded toolsets.
- What is the long-term company/technology/product roadmap for Avishtech?
Answer: We will continually improve and refine our Gauss Stack and Gauss 2D products to ensure that they address the continual evolution of the technology challenges that our customers face in developing their next-generation and beyond end products. We are also committed to educating the industry user base by sharing what we learn about these technology challenges and how they can best be addressed through a comprehensive, inclusive, predictive design approach.