Choose your set of tools

Sometimes it might seem difficult to find your way around a new software, especially if it has many modules, none of which you are familiar with. WIPL-D might be categorized as one of the software tools where it gets a little confusing to define which modules suit your needs and in which way. This section is meant to clear out those doubts as much as possible by providing a step-by-step guide that will help you configure your software suite.

What is there?

There are three main products, each of them solving different kind of problem in a different way, and many add-ons, which help the user enhance main products in order to obtain what he/she wants.

The main products are: WIPL-D Microwave (circuit solver), WIPL-D Pro (3D EM Solver) and WIPL-D Pro CAD (solid modeler and solver).

The “unknown”

At this point, it is good to clear out some terms that will be used quite a lot around this website, and generally, when it comes to WIPL-D. The size of a problem is measured in unknowns, the software is priced with respect to the number of unknowns, the limitations are stated in unknowns… So, it is best to know what we are talking about right from the start.

“Unknown” represents one unknown coefficient in the approximation of the response function. WIPL-D employs Method of Moments (MoM), where the solution is found by solving integral equations. Unknown functions are approximated with polynomials, which are a sum of products of known (basis) functions and unknown coefficients. The more complex the problem, the more coefficient are required for a good approximation, and more unknown functions need to be determined. The problem comes down to inversion of a NxN matrix, which is actually a solution of a system with N unknown coefficients and N equations. Simply put, N is what we call “the number of unknowns”. The larger the number of unknowns, the bigger/more complex the problem.

Step 1: What is your field of work? What do you want to use the simulator for?

If your main area of work are circuits and planar structures and all you need is an efficient solver, WIPL D Microwave is the right choice for you. With this tool, you will be able to obtain port parameters from circuit schematics, but also to calculate near and far fields of simple 3D structures, thanks to the lite version of WIPL-D Pro that comes along. Typical examples for this application are: simple antennas with matching circuits, antenna arrays and their feeding circuits, etc.

Since WIPL-D enables circuit and 3D EM co-simulation, possibilities of such simulations are limited by the power of 3D EM solver employed, i.e. WIPL-D Pro. WIPL-D Microwave is able to solve circuits with imported 3D EM components on its own, but only up to certain size (665 unknowns in 3D model). If you need to make, for instance, a matching circuit for some complex antenna, you will need more than just WIPL-D Microwave – you will need WIPL-D Pro.

WIPL-D Pro is a completely standalone tool. It contains the modeling interface and the kernel which provides solution to 3D EM problems. It allows modeling of arbitrary metallic/dielectric structures and solves them with a full-wave 3D simulation. For numerous application of this tool, please check out the Applications section. This tool is what you will need if you want to solve 3D problems and take every part of the model and its influence into account.

WIPL-D Pro provides fast solutions thanks to its specific way of surface-modeling. Models are made of basic elements – plates and wires, and are solved by using Surface Equivalence Theorem. This way of modeling is not that common with other software tools, so some users find it not-that-comfortable. If you need a common, solid modeler, that is where WIPL-D Pro CAD comes to rescue.

WIPL-D Pro CAD has one sole role – to convert 3D EM problems into the form that WIPL-D Pro kernel can process and solve, i.e. wires and plates. So, this tool allows the users to make their own models from scratch or to import models from most popular CAD formats. This is especially useful if you collaborate with other teams (designers) who do the modeling part in other tools. Basically, WIPL-D Pro CAD is WIPL-D Pro empowered with a powerful modeling/importing CAD interface.

Step 2: How much power do you need?

This is where you need to define what kind of problems you will be solving with the software tools you already picked: simple wire antennas or RCS of an airplane? The size and complexity of what you can model in WIPL-D suite is predominantly defined by the number of unknowns in WIPL-D Pro.

If you are looking for the simplest simulations (dipoles, simple horns, patches), then WIPL-D Demo versions and WIPL-D Lite (sold through Artech House) might be enough. Demo versions are limited to 150 and 333 unknowns, whilst WIPL-D Lite can simulate problems of up to 665 unknowns.

If lighter versions don’t suffice, then WIPL-D pro is necessary. There are three default versions of WIPL-D Pro: Basic (3,000 unknowns), Standard (16,000 unknowns) and Premium (100,000 unknowns). However, a license can support an arbitrary number of unknowns between 3,000 and 500,000. To get an idea how many unknowns you will need, visit our Benchmarks and Applications sections, where many typical models are described and the required number of unknowns is clearly stated.

WIPL-D Microwave and WIPL-D Pro CAD are not dependent on the number of unknowns. The first is a circuit solver and the number of unknowns matters only for embedded 3D EM components, while the latter is a design tool which converts complex designs into simulation-ready projects for WIPL-D Pro.

Step 3: Choose your add-ons

If you are going to simulate big structures, the best thing to add to your suite is the GPU Solver. This add-on is capable of speeding up the solution of large problems (antenna placement, scattering, complex dielectric structures, big reflectors, …) for up to 40 times, using nVIDIA’s CUDA-enabled GPU’s on your computer. For any license with more than 10,000 unknowns, it is strongly recommended to have this add-on, and for Premium licenses it is practically necessary.

In case you know that you are going to deal with a lot of layered structures (microstrip filters, patch antennas, …) or simply designs made in DXF format, then AW Modeler might be a life-saver. This is an add-on to WIPL-D Pro which allows for easy drawing of planar structures and import of DXF models, which are then automatically converted into WIPL-D Pro projects.

Optimizer is useful when you are looking for optimal solutions for your designs, either in WIPL-D Microwave or WIPL-D Pro. Since its task is to find the optimum set of parameters, it needs to run the simulation for a certain number of times and find the solution to verify it. That being said, it is clear that is comes useful for relatively smaller projects, because in large problems each iteration lasts rather long. Of course, it all depends on what you are simulating and how much time you are willing to invest.

Time-Domain Solver is the add-on that provides solution in time-domain based on the frequency-domain solution. Works with both WIPL-D Microwave and WIPL-D Pro.

Filter Designer can be added to WIPL-D Microwave to enable automatic synthesis of microwave filters.

Array Designer, also a WIPL-D Microwave add-on, automatically calculates and generates antenna arrays.

Step 4: Verify that you made the right configuration

Browse once again through our Benchmarks and Applications sections to check the number of unknowns and the add-ons used for examples that look similar to what you work with. Our FAQ section can be of assistance too. Also, feel free to get in touch with us and ask which configuration is the most suitable for you.