Avishtec announced the availability of the latest version of its Gauss 2D Field Solver toolset with 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 noted, “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 a second loss mechanism through the return path in the ground plane. This effect can count for 30-35 percent 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 in. line. This means, you only have a loss budget of 0.7 dB/in. 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 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 explained, “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 stated, “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 concluded, “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).