Ansys Solutions for Mastering 5G Electronics Design

March 25, 2024 Conrad Magalis

Consumers want faster access to data on their mobile devices and 5G appears to be the path to making that a reality. According to the analyst firm IDC, 99% of the U.S. smartphone market will be 5G by 2027. Manufacturing mobile devices to meet consumer demand and technical requirements isn’t always easy. Both the 5G mobile network and printed circuit board (PCB) miniaturization are creating design challenges for electronics companies.

To compete in the evolving 5G market, electronics manufacturers must design and produce PCBs and antennas quickly and cost-effectively. Discovering design flaws after a product has hit the manufacturing line is costly and lengthens the time to market. Fortunately, software-based advanced simulation tools can be used to analyze PCB and 5G antenna designs early in the product development lifecycle, enabling electronics manufacturers to efficiently address problems on screen, rather than in the plant.

Ansys’s Electronics Portfolio includes three simulation solutions that are revolutionizing the way firms design PCBs and 5G antennas.

Ansys HFSS. This 3D electromagnetic (EM) field solver helps design high-frequency, high-speed electronic components. Its finite element modeling (FEM), integral equation (IE), asymptotic, and hybrid solvers address radio frequency (RF), microwave, integrated circuit (IC), PCB, and electromagnetic interference (EMI) problems.

HFSS is a powerful tool for modeling PCB connectors. At high speeds and frequencies, RF transitions and connector transitions have a higher impact on the signal than at lower frequencies. By accurately modeling connectors, designers can ensure they get an accurate signal during PCB simulations. HFSS includes an optimization tool for modeling connectors, impedance graphs, electric field analyses, and crosstalk.

In the realm of 5G antennas, HFSS can also be used for modeling different antenna topologies, simulating antenna-to-antenna interactions, conducting antenna placement studies, designing beam steering antennas, and analyzing enclosures for EMI.

Ansys SIwave. This specialized tool performs power integrity, signal integrity, and EMI analysis of IC packages and PCBs. As PCBs become smaller, higher-density interconnections require thinner traces which degrade signal integrity. SIwave offers multiple scanners and simulations to identify signal integrity problems, such as impedance and crosstalk scanners, S-parameters, and eye diagram analysis. SIwave also helps PCB designers evaluate power integrity through resonant modes, the DCIR tool, and Z-parameters. DCIR simulations can create a power map across the PCB, as well as maps of voltage, current vectors, and via current density.

Ansys Icepak. This computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solver for electronics thermal management predicts airflow, temperature, and heat transfer in IC packages, PCBs, electronics enclosures, and power electronics. Thermal management is a massive issue as 5G speeds increase because high data rates generate more power and heat. Icepak can be used as a plug-in to SIwave to create a power overlay of a PCB and components visible in SIwave. It can also be utilized as a standalone solution in Ansys Electronics Desktop for analyzing thermal management. In addition to managing heat in PCBs, SIwave can also be used for thermal mitigation in beam steering antennas that are integrated into PCBs.


Ansys simulation solutions can open the door to higher-performance PCB and 5G antenna designs. If you are unsure where to begin, Rand Simulation offers consulting designed to help clients innovate and optimize product designs. Our experts specialize in addressing business problems that stem from design and product development processes. Rand Simulation uncovers critical insights early by leveraging best-in-class Ansys engineering simulation solutions and a unique collaborative approach to consulting.

Our clients are typically trying to innovate new designs or optimize existing ones to achieve their business goals. Some want to quickly assess the root cause behind a field failure and determine the best redesign strategy. Others hope to cut costs without sacrificing performance or penetrate new markets through true design differentiation that delivers a competitive advantage. No matter what your unique situation is, we’d love to hear more and discuss how we can help.

About the Author

Conrad Magalis

Conrad Magalis is responsible for the adoption of advanced digital engineering practices at Rand Simulation. Conrad has a broad range of experience within manufacturing and industrial industries. His acumen is focused on progressive business and engineering decisions, with practical outcomes.

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