OneTree is a fabless semiconductor company for emerging broadband networks. The company’s goal is to be a leading provider of critical components for the broadband RF market with industry-best designs and applications support. Key markets served are cable broadband, fiber to the home (FTTH), and TV white space.
The Design Challenge
As a start-up company, OneTree Microdevices is constantly challenged with saving time and completing designs more quickly. Because it is a small company, the designers typically place a large number of designs on a reticle, which makes it critical that their software tools don’t get in the way or slow them down.
The most difficult challenge of designing broadband ultra-linear amplifiers is maintaining extremely high levels of linearity as the amplifier approaches compression. For example, typical OIP3 is 25 dB above P1dB spanning 40 – 1200 MHz and is maintained across a wide range of output powers right up to compression. High data rates today use orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) with high peak-to-average ratios, which places added pressure on active components for good bit-error-rate (BER) performance. At the same time customers demand reduced power consumption and lower cost.
OneTree uses NI AWR Design Environment™ Microwave Office circuit design software for extensive nonlinear design and optimization of broadband amplifiers. Designer Chris Day makes heavy use of the Microwave Office optimizer to gain insights on underlying circuit behavior that he might not have otherwise considered. He likes that the software has a wide range of capabilities, from simulation through layout and design documentation, which enables him to quickly focus on completing design jobs and tape-outs.
Why NI AWR Design Environment
Day has used Microwave Office software since 1997. He immediately liked its ease of use and continues today to appreciate the ease of use and fast learning curve, as well as its nicely integrated solution set (simulations, layout, EM simulation). He also cited the good example files and excellent technical support as key factors in the success of OneTree’s amplifier designs.