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AWR Design Environment Features

The Cadence® AWR Design Environment® version 15 software includes the following new features, enhancements, and user interface changes. These changes are common to the Cadence® AWR® Microwave Office® software, Cadence® Visual System Simulator™ (VSS) communications and radar systems design software, and Cadence® AWR® Analog Office® RFIC/analog IC design software.

Updated Equation and Variable Browser

You can now view Independent or All (independent and dependent) variables based on the tab selected in the Variable Browser. When the All tab is selected, there are options to filter on element parameters or equations, and additional capability to search and replace text in editable cells and to navigate and update a large number of equations. Both tabs now also support Undo and Redo operations.

Additional Information:

Graph Enhancements

Graphs and markers are easier to format and control. Updates include:

  • A new Rectangular - Real/Imag graph type. Measurements normally plotted on a Smith Chart or polar grid can now be plotted on a rectangular grid with independent axis control. This graph type is particularly useful for plotting load pull data.

  • Support for on-graph editing of axis limits, step sizes, and sweep ranges on all graphs except for 3D plots and tabular graphs. Double-click directly on the number in a graph axis on the graph to change values.

  • A new option on the Graph Options Markers tab to match marker label and legend text color to the trace color.

  • Horizontal line markers are now labeled with the y-axis value and can by moved by using the Shift+Up/Down arrow keys.

  • The Add Offset Marker and Edit Marker Offset dialog boxes include a new Select Trace button to allow easy placement of the offset marker on a trace other than the one on which the reference marker is located.

  • A new option on the Environment Options Project tab to hide disabled measurements from the graph legend.

  • A new option on the Rectangular Plot Options Axes tab to auto limit only the Min or Max Limit for Left or Right axes, while holding the other limit constant.

  • A new option on the Graph Options Format tab to hide the Sweep Min and Max values from displaying on Smith Charts and other graph types that display these values.

  • The Add Optimization Goal and Add Yield Goal commands available by right-clicking on a graph legend now support clicking and drawing a line on the graph to represent the goal value and slope, along with the start and stop range. The start and end points of the line automatically snap to the grid unless you hold down the Shift key. Likewise, when editing or moving a goal line, the line snaps to the grid unless you hold down the Shift key.

  • An Edit All Measurements command is added to the context menu of all graphs and the Graphs menu for quicker access.

  • An Edit Measurements command is added to the right-click context menu of column headers on tabular graphs.

  • When a tabular graph contains measurements with different x-axes, a new Hide X-Axis Column command is available when right-clicking on a column header, or from the Tabular Graph Options dialog box.

Additional Information:

Template Based Measurements

A User folder set up with the data source group name convention can be used as a subcircuit template document. A single measurement on a parent document containing subcircuit template documents can expand to individual measurements for all permutations of the documents inside the data source group collections. You can use template documents to quickly set up test benches and compare combinations of networks generated by the Network Synthesis Wizard.

Additional Information:

Linked Global Definitions and Symbols

You can now link to an external global definitions and symbols file, along with importing and exporting those documents. The API is also updated with methods to import, export, and link global definitions and symbols. In the Project Browser, linked documents display with a different icon and display the path to the linked file.

Additional Information:

New Two-Click Windowing Mode

The AWR Design Environment platform software now supports a two-click entry mode for defining a draw or view window. In this mode, you click once to start a draw or view window, and click a second time to define the window size, rather then holding down the mouse button and dragging to define the window. This mode is Off by default, and controlled on the Environment Options dialog box Mouse tab. Enable this mode for a more comfortable and intuitive mouse click experience.

Additional Information:

Faster Layout Rendering

The AWR Design Environment platform software now renders 2D and 3D high-density layouts such as modules, PCBs, and ICs significantly faster with GPU acceleration turned On. This option is Off by default, and controlled on the Environment Options dialog box Project tab.

Minor Improvements

AWR Design Environment v15 software includes the following minor new features, enhancements, and user interface changes:


  • New Rescan File and Rescan All Files commands are added to the Project Browser context menus in the Scripting IDE to simplify reloading script files that are modified outside of the IDE.


  • New amax1(x) and amin1(x) functions are added to calculate the maximum/minimum value of x per trace, while existing amax(x) and amin(x)functions find the singular maximum/minimum value for all traces.

  • A new dec2binvect(dec,n) function is added to convert a decimal number into a binary number represented by a vector of integers of length n, with the least significant bit at index 0. This function is useful for bit-driven switching in phase shifter designs.

  • A new erf(x) function is added to calculate the error function at x.

  • A new erfc(x) function is added to calculate the complementary error function at x.

  • A new expm1(x) function is added to calculate e(x-1).

  • A new lgamma(x) function is added to calculate the natural logarithm of the absolute value of the gamma function at x.

  • A new log1p(x) function is added to calculate the natural logarithm of (x+1).

  • A new tgamma(x) function is added to calculate the value of the gamma function at x.

  • A new trunc(x) function is added to round x to the nearest integer towards zero.

  • Two-dimensional quantities can now be defined in equations. For example, a 2x2 matrix can be defined as

    x = {{1,2},{3,4}}

  • Group Properties, a new equations right-click context menu, includes options for drawing a frame around a multi-line equation group and including a group title.

Symbol Editor

  • Circuit symbols can now support filled polygons and ellipses.

User Interface

  • The Tuner column visibility and order is now retained across AWR Design Environment sessions.

  • The AWR Design Environment platform software now adds the project file to the operating system 'Recent File' list when opening or saving a project. This list is used by many applications, for example, Outlook when attaching a file, or for the jump list in the taskbar.

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