Zeland IE3D: A Powerful EM Simulation and Optimization Tool for High-Frequency Circuit Design
Zeland IE3D is a software package that provides full-wave electromagnetic (EM) simulation and optimization for the analysis and design of 3-D microstrip antennas, microwave and millimeter-wave integrated circuits, and high-speed printed circuit boards[^7^]. It is the first scalable EM design and verification platform that delivers the modeling accuracy for the combined needs of high-frequency circuit design and signal integrity engineers across multiple design domains[^5^].
Some of the features and benefits of Zeland IE3D are:
It supports large capacity EM simulation and optimization for complex structures such as antenna arrays, RFID tags, MMICs, etc. with fast turnaround time and high accuracy[^5^].
It offers equation-based schematic-layout editor with Boolean operations for flexible geometry editing and parameterization[^5^].
It introduces the Conjugate Match Factor (CMF) for RFID antenna designers to evaluate the performance of RFID tags with given chip impedance and configuration[^5^].
It provides lumped element equivalent circuit automatic extraction and optimization for convenient circuit designs[^5^].
It integrates seamlessly with Microwave Office from Applied Wave Research for co-simulation and co-optimization[^5^].
If you are interested in learning more about Zeland IE3D, you can download a datasheet from here or visit Mentor Graphics website.In this article, we will show you some examples of Zeland IE3D designs for different applications and domains. We will also demonstrate how Zeland IE3D can help you achieve your design goals faster and easier.
Example 1: Microstrip Patch Antenna
A microstrip patch antenna is a popular type of antenna for wireless communication systems. It consists of a metallic patch on a dielectric substrate, fed by a microstrip line or a coaxial probe. The patch can have various shapes, such as rectangular, circular, triangular, etc. The advantages of microstrip patch antennas are low profile, light weight, easy fabrication, and conformability to planar and non-planar surfaces. However, they also have some drawbacks, such as narrow bandwidth, low efficiency, and spurious radiation.
Zeland IE3D can help you design and optimize microstrip patch antennas with high accuracy and efficiency. You can use the IE3DLibrary to create the antenna geometry with parameterized objects and equations. You can also use the Boolean objects and void objects to create complex shapes and combine objects together. You can then simulate the antenna performance using the IE3D engine, which supports large capacity EM simulation with fast turnaround time. You can also extract the lumped element equivalent circuit model from the simulation results for circuit design and integration. You can also use the IE3D FastEM Design Kit to perform real-time EM tuning, optimization, and synthesis of the antenna parameters.
Figure 1 shows an example of a rectangular microstrip patch antenna designed using Zeland IE3D. The antenna operates at 2.4 GHz for WLAN applications. The patch dimensions are 36 mm x 29 mm, and the substrate is FR4 with relative permittivity of 4.4 and thickness of 1.6 mm. The antenna is fed by a 50-ohm microstrip line with width of 3 mm.
Figure 1: Rectangular microstrip patch antenna geometry in Zeland IE3D
Figure 2 shows the simulated return loss of the antenna using Zeland IE3D. The return loss is less than -10 dB from 2.35 GHz to 2.45 GHz, indicating a good impedance match. The bandwidth is about 100 MHz, or 4% of the center frequency.
Figure 2: Simulated return loss of the rectangular microstrip patch antenna using Zeland IE3D
Figure 3 shows the simulated radiation pattern of the antenna at 2.4 GHz using Zeland IE3D. The radiation pattern is omnidirectional in the x-y plane (E-plane) and bidirectional in the x-z plane (H-plane). The maximum gain is about 6 dBi.
Figure 3: Simulated radiation pattern of the rectangular microstrip patch antenna at 2.4 GHz using Zeland IE3D 061ffe29dd