Presentation Outline What does practical filter design mean? Picking a substrate, easy, right? How big was that? Exploring a design example, an RF Brick Designing the filters, do simulation tools really work? Steps to completion Verifying your design Wasnt that easy? Demonstrations & Questions?
What does practical filter design mean? Select the proper substrate (application driven) Select the correct packaging (waveguide effects) Select the proper simulation tools (not all are created equal) Choose the best PCB shop (some are better than others) Design for manufacturing (Monte Carlo E r and dimensions)
Picking A Substrate Many substrates to choose from, here is a link to a large list: http://www.pcbmaterialworld.com/pdf_downloads/PCBMWStocklist. pdf The selection process usually means choosing these items Dielectric Constant Dimensional Stability Thickness Loss Tangent Application Dependencies (microstrip, stripline, etc)
How big was that? Most designs are constrained by legacy packaging Usually integrated with other circuitry Etch-a-Sketch, Tape Cad or 3D drafting?
Design Example Requirements Design an RF Band Pass Filter for a Ku Band Down Converter Center Frequency 11,100MHz 800MHz System Bandwidth Minimum 50dB LO Rejection at 9750MHz 60dB Image Rejection at 8800MHz 5dB or less insertion loss Legacy hardware driven
The RF Input Filter goes here. The size is 1.160 by 0.360 by 0.010 The Legacy Hardware, the RF Brick Top cover touches the PCB where ever gold is exposed
The RF Brick Cover The lightest color grey is the metal that contacts the gold on the PCB
The RF Brick PCB with cover in place This illustrates the wave guide beyond cut off of the filter shields
Waveguide Beyond Cutoff? Circuit shielding should include waveguide below cutoff when possible to minimize undesired propagation E-plane H-Plane Bad locations to split waveguide Good location to split waveguide
Easier to originate filter designs in linear simulator Optimize performance in EM simulator Be aware that the results are often different Linear Simulator typically does not include circuit parasitics - uses formulas and calculates the results based on dimensions - some parasitics can be added manually EM Simulator typically does include parasitics - fields from adjacent components are considered in analysis - metal thickness and losses are included Shield walls are included in EM simulations, not in Linear simulations - waveguide beyond cutoff is included in analysis Do Simulation Tools Work?
Linear Simulator Comparison Comparison of several linear simulations for the same wideband filter design
Simulation vs. Measured Measured results indicate that some simulators are very close
Designing the RF Filter Assumption is that substrate and filter topology have been chosen First do a linear simulation to optimize the filter design Export a DXF file and import it into the EM simulator Set up EM simulator to include shield walls and cover Do the EM simulator, time to results dependent on set up Compare Linear to EM simulation results Modify filter artwork in the EM simulator if required Do Monte Carlo on dimensions in EM for etching tolerance and substrate Export EM DXF file for PCB layout processing
Band Pass Filter Design This is the most dimensionally accurate filter representation and can be imported into most PCB design tools to get Gerber files needed for PCB process by a typical board shop. This is the DXF output from Agilents Genesys for the Ku Band filter in our example. This DXF file will be imported into Sonnet Pro for final analysis.
Analysis of the Genesys DXF output file in Sonnet Pro Band Pass Filter Design It can be seen that the Genesys simulation file is high in frequency
After optimization of the Genesys DXF output file in Sonnet Pro Band Pass Filter Design
Filter Notes: The filter required the addition of 3 mils to each open stub, the 1st pass simulation has all open stubs increased in length by 3 mils. The frequency was correct. However, the BW is borderline narrow. For 2nd pass, decrease the coupled line spacing by 2 mils (only the center, or widest spaced pairs, not the end pair as the Return loss looks good) and re-sweep. Closing the gap improved performance but needs more. The 3rd pass will narrow the coupled line gaps on the inner wide gapped lines by another 2 mils. The 3rd pass is still not quite right. The 4th pass will move the two outer coupled line gaps 1 mil closer. THis still is not right. Slightly low in frequency and not enough bandwidth. The 5th pass will move all coupled lines closer by 1 mil and remove 1 mil from all open stubs.. let's get radical! The 5th pass looks good! Band Pass Filter Design I like to write down the various steps and changes I make during both the linear simulation as well as the EM simulation. This helps to remember what tweaks youve made as you step through the various iterations optimizing the filter. This is a part of those notes from the original filter design work. Although I have not, one could make the dimensional changes to the linear simulator file based on the EM simulation results for a reverse comparison.
EM Simulation Notes The Sonnet simulations included the metal thickness of 1 mil (1/4 oz. copper with nickel/gold, no extra copper for vias). Grid set to 1 mil. Etching tolerance 0.5 mil. 20 mil thick Rogers R5880 as mentioned previously. Typical simulation time for each pass is approximately 1 hour when using metal thickness and a 1 mil grid and setting the mesh density to mid-point. I tried maximum mesh density, it required approximately 1200MB of memory, after 2 hours there had been no progress in the simulation so it was stopped and the mesh density reduced. I also used the memory saver function. It should be noted again that there is always a dimensional difference between the exported DXF (from Genesys) and the Sonnet analysis layout. With a grid of 1 mil this error is about 0.25 mil worse case. Use the Sonnet generated DXF that has been tweaked as the PCB artwork given to your PCB designer. This should insure that what Sonnet analyzed will be what the PCB is made with. Additionally, using a grid of 0.5 mil is a slight improvement in accuracy between the Genesys DXF and the Sonnet simulation artwork, but at the expense of a large increase in simulation time! EM simulation using Sonnet taxes the capabilities of a PC on which it is run! These simulations were run on a PC which is an Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core running at 1900MHz with 4GB Ram running at 600MHz and a 300GB HD. This is probably a minimal system for this kind of work!
The Test Fixture This is the filter test fixture which can be used to measure your filter performance. It requires a thru board to measure the insertion loss of the fixture and its two 3 dB pads.
The Test Fixture Measurement results of the filter test fixture with the thru board installed.
The Test Fixture The filter test fixture with a test filter installed.
Filter Measurement Results Insertion Loss is approximately 3dB after subtracting the fixture insertion loss
In Summary, Wasnt that easy? Designs are often driven by the mechanical design Chose your substrate based on application and performance trade offs Do your simulations in a linear simulator first to optimize overall performance Finalize your simulation in an EM simulator so parasitics are included Make any performance corrections to artwork in the EM simulator Use exported DXF artwork output to PCB designer to retain accuracy Build test boards and fixture for first pass designs Use calibrated VNA to measure your test boards to confirm performance Integrate your final filter design into your overall design