Multi-Rate Harmonic Balance Provides a New Solution for Nonlinear Simulation

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  • Author: Ville Karanko and Taisto Tinttunen
Since the early 1980s, harmonic balance analysis has been the core tool for performing nonlinear frequency-domain simulation. Today’s harmonic balance tools such as AWR’s APLAC® simulator can handle designs with thousands of analysis frequencies and scale almost linearly with increases in circuit elements, nodes, and frequencies. However, when applied to large circuits that have many different signal sources, traditional harmonic balance has drawbacks that render it less effective because computational times are prohibitively long and enormous amounts of memory are required. To this end, AWR has introduced within its APLAC family of harmonic balance and time-domain simulators a technology called Multi-Rate Harmonic Balance (MRHB™). This new technology eliminates the limitations of traditional harmonic balance, dramatically increasing computational speed and reducing required computer memory when analyzing frequency-rich nonlinear systems that have multiple signal sources. It can potentially even solve entire subsystems such as a mobile phone transceiver in an acceptable amount of time.