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Application Note 058


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Accelerating Designs With Modelithics Microwave Supermodels™


The Modelithics COMPLETE Library™, was introduced to the industry in 2003, with 23 passive component families, and is constantly growing. With the introduction of version 17.0 in Q1 2017, the library has 600 models representing over 15,000 parts1. With each release, and the practice has been to have one major release per year for each supported simulator, new models, updated models and new model features are added. Over the fifteen-plus years of development, Modelithics has updated many of the passive RLC component models, or Microwave Global Models™, in the Modelithics CLR Library™ (a subset of Modelithics COMPLETE) to offer more scalability by extending part-value ranges, frequency limits, and pad scalability ranges. Some of these updates have resulted in multiple model versions available for the same component series. In an effort to simplify and consolidate the library, Modelithics some time ago started a process of combining the multiple model versions into “Microwave Supermodels” which contain the most complete scalability ranges of the previous model versions within the single new model. See Table 1 for the complete list of Microwave Supermodels to date. Additional Supermodels are in development and will be added to new releases of the Modelithics Library as they are completed. The result is that the Supermodels support the widest range of application space in terms of substrate properties, part value range, pad scaling and frequency coverage. The goal is to make it easier than ever for designers to accelerate their productivity and increase design accuracy.

1 Numbers represent all models available in the COMPLETE Library as of December 2016. Model and component count may vary depending on simulator. Contact Modelithics for latest library content details.

Table 1. List of recently developed Microwave Supermodels and the previous models they replace.

Microwave Supermodel Example

To illustrate the Microwave Supermodel concept, the model updates for the Coilcraft 0402CS series surface mount chip inductor family will be described. The model was originally developed in 2003 as model number IND-CLC-0402-001, with an upper frequency limit of 10 GHz, a part value (inductance) range of 1 to 47 nH, a substrate scaling range of H/Er ratio 1 to 8, and the model did not offer pad scalability. The IND-CLC-0402-101 model version was developed in 2006 and featured an extended validation frequency to 17 GHz, an extended part value range (1 to 100 nH), extended substrate scalability (1≤H/Er≤15), and implemented pad scalability. The two models were developed separately and the validation measurements were done on different substrates. The biggest difference was that the -001 version pad dimensions were outside the pad scaling range of the -101 version. By combining and validating the -001 and -101 model versions of this part family, the -201 model version was created to cover all of the combined ranges of the -001 and -101 model versions, including a superset of pad dimension scalability from both models. In addition, at the time of developing this Supermodel, it was found that additional part values were available from the vendor in the 0402CS series, so Modelithics completed the additional measurements needed to extend the inductance range even further (to 120 nH) in the new Supermodel. The model updates for the IND-CLC-0402-201 Supermodel are outlined in Table 2.The model datasheets also give a summary of the model features and validation ranges (Figure 1).

Figure 1 – Model features and scalability details on the IND-CLC-0402-201 Microwave Supermodel datasheet cover page.

Supermodel Performance

The advantages of a Supermodel include maximum scalability ranges and highest validation frequency. The plots below show how these expanded ranges result in a more useful and more flexible simulation model.

Figure 2 – Part value (inductance) sweep comparison for the original (Blue) versus Microwave Supermodel (Red) for Coilcraft 0402CS. Note that the original model is only validated with measurement up to 10GHz, but the equivalent circuit model continues to simulate in a physically reasonable manner beyond that frequency.

Figure 3 – Pad dimension limits comparison for the original model pads (left plot) versus minimum (top right), default (middle right) and maximum (bottom right) pad sizes of the Microwave Supermodel for Coilcraft 0402CS 3.3nH.

Figure 4 – Substrate sweep comparison for the original (top left) versus Microwave Supermodel (top right) for Coilcraft 0402CS 3.3nH. Extended substrate scaling also validated to a higher frequency range in Supermodel (bottom).

About this note:
This application note was developed by Isabella Bedford, Hetvi Patel and Laura Levesque of Modelithics, Inc.

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