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Agilent Technologies Introduces Power Integrity Solution to Solve Key Challenge in Designing Power Distribution Networks


SANTA CLARA, Calif., Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE:A) today introduced its power integrity solution to quickly and accurately solve the perforated-plane power integrity challenge. Available in Agilentís Advanced Design System 2011 Momentum, the solution is used for designing a power distribution network with the heavily perforated power and ground planes found in modern printed circuit board designs.

Traditionally, boards have had dedicated power and ground planes that were independent from the signal planes. Because the power and ground planes were used exclusively for that purpose, they were practically continuous sheets with few, if any, perforations. The previous generation of power integrity electronic design automation tools relied on this topology by using approximations that increased simulation speed but were valid only in the case of solid power and ground planes.

The demand for high-volume, cost-reduced boards has been met with a new design paradigm called split-power ground layout where signal lines cohabit and perforate the power and ground planes. This approach dramatically reduces the layer count and cost of the board, but renders useless previous generation power integrity tools.

The power integrity solution in Agilentís ADS 2011 Momentum solves power integrity problems that are complicated by heavily perforated power and ground planes. Unlike other power integrity tools, Momentum does not assume solid power and ground planes. It contains a full wave 3-D multilayer electromagnetic field solver that yields power distribution network impedance for an arbitrary input mixture of power, ground and signal nets on each layer. Unlike previous generation static and pseudo-static power integrity solvers (which are accurate only up to several hundred megahertz), the results from Momentum are valid into the multi-gigahertz range This enables the tool to be applied to heavily perforated boards, as well as high-frequency IC package power integrity problems.

The Agilent R&D team created this capability by enhancing the speed and capacity of the proven method-of-moment technology in Momentum. The enhancements allow Momentum to be applied to very large structures such as power distribution networks.

Traditionally, Momentum has been used for smaller RF and microwave structures where a polygon-based layout design and setup is preferred. Power integrity engineers, however, prefer to import the artwork from an enterprise board tool and then apply a net-based setup where port-to-port connections, not raw polygonal shape data, determine the electromagnetic simulation setup. For this reason, ADS 2011 now includes a signal integrity/power integrity analyzer that provides a simple net-based electromagnetic simulation setup wizard and automatic test-bench generator for typical SI/PI circuit simulations.

In addition, Momentum also now models wire bonds, the effects of frequency-dependent dielectric loss and the surface roughness of copper traces, which are important in signal integrity and power integrity design.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

Agilentís Advanced Design System 2011 is currently available to customers engaged in Agilent EEsofís Early Access program. Bundles containing the power integrity capability are priced starting at around $59,000. A diagram of the type of board to which Agilentís new power integrity solution applies can be found at

Agilent will demonstrate the Advanced Design System 2011 at DesignCon 2011, Feb. 1-2, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Booth 201. Agilent offers a wide selection of high-speed digital solutions including essential tools to pinpoint problems, optimize devices and deliver results for design and simulation.

About Agilent EEsof EDA Software

Agilent EEsof EDA is the leading supplier of electronic design automation software for microwave, RF, high-frequency, high-speed digital, RF system, electronic system level, circuit, 3-D electromagnetic, physical design and device-modeling applications. More information is available at

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the worldís premier measurement company and a technology leader in chemical analysis, life sciences, electronics and communications. The companyís 18,500 employees serve customers in more than 100 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $5.4 billion in fiscal 2010. Information about Agilent is available at


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