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EM Simulation for RFIC Silicon

Integrated passive devices (IPDs), commonly found in radio front-end sub-systems, are fabricated in silicon, alumina, or glass technologies to realize functional blocks such as impedance-matching circuits, filters, couplers, baluns, and power combiners/dividers. These transistorless circuits comprise discrete, distributed inductive, and capacitive elements, combined with transmission lines. Electromagnetic (EM) simulation is required to characterize and optimize the behavior of these individual structures, as well as the entire passive device itself. Silicon substrates, in particular, present some unique challenges for EM simulators. There are two types of EM simulators commonly used for RFIC chips: full-3D and planar. This talk will present examples using the Cadence EM simulators, AXIEM 3D planar method-of-moments (MoM) and Analyst™ 3D finite-element method (FEM), to address EM simulation issues for silicon. In addition, the presentation will highlight how AXIEM EM simulation is integrated into the Cadence Virtuoso RF platform to characterize passive structures within an overall RFIC and IPD design flow.

Presented by: Dr. John Dunn, Cadence