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HFSS Performance for “Almost Free”

HFSS Performance for “Almost Free”
by Jim DeLap on 12-11-2020 at 10:00 am

Everyday, engineers are running simulations to deliver the next generation of products to make our lives better. Everyday, they wait for those simulations to finish, wishing that they could get answers instantaneously. While waiting for those simulations or checking on the status of their runs at night, they might indulge in a diversion by checking their stocks on their smartphone or playing a few minutes of their favorite game on their console. Little do they know that faster simulations are as close as that latest version of the OS on their phone or the latest downloadable content for their game.

HFSS PCB 2

Whenever problems occur with our smartphones, laptops, or game consoles, we confront some technical service representative for a solution. We are often met with the first question: “what version  OS are you running?” (OK, it may be the second question after “have you tried rebooting?”) So many times, with technology we can get better results simply by upgrading to the latest version. This story is no different with many simulation products such as Ansys HFSS.

Ansys understands that time spent waiting for simulations to finish is time not spent making smart design decisions. One of our core priorities is to continually reduce the total time spent in our tools. Sometimes, this goal is realized by major re-architecture of how we solve a frequency sweep. Other times this can mean a better way to store data on disk so that it is easier to access in memory. Still others may mean new research into core computational algorithms. For some releases, these speed increases may be minor, while for others, they may be significant.

Often our users must rely on a centralized IT team to make changes to their simulation machines. Since enterprise IT organizations are notoriously conservative in their approach to updates, the end users do not have the latest Ansys software on their machines. We have even seen some customer situations where they are using 2-3-year-old versions of tools, and in today’s pace of technology advances, that can feel like a lifetime.

Over a recent 3-year development cycle, there was a 2.5X speed improvement from code and algorithm optimizations including the notable addition of S-parameter only matrix solve in frequency sweeps. Then by adopting Ansys recommend best-practice setup strategies, one customer was able to improve an internal benchmark simulation time from 96 hours to just 5 hours, a 19X speed improvement with no noticeable change in the results!

Imagine if your smartphone or your laptop were 2.5 times or 20 times faster with just simple software updates? You would jump on that opportunity! To download the latest version of Ansys Electronic Desktop, please visit support.ansys.com, and for more information on the latest best practices for HFSS simulations, reach out to your local Ansys representative. For step-by-step video instructions on how to implement these best practices, check out the videos: Using HFSS to Optimize your Complex PCB Layout, True System Design with HFSS 3D Layout, and  Using Azure Cloud to Rapidly Simulate Layout Designs in HFSS.

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