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The Team RF "μWaveRiders" blog series is a showcase for Cadence AWR RF products. Monthly topics will vary between Cadence AWR Design Environment release highlights, feature videos, Cadence Academic Network news (including the former AWR University Program), as well as software tips, tricks, customization, and feature spotlights.
The AWR Design Environment platform provides RF/microwave engineers with integrated high-frequency circuit (Microwave Office), system (Visual System Simulator), and EM (AXIEM 3D planar/Analyst 3D FEM) simulation technologies and design automation to develop physically realizable electronics ready for manufacturing.
Did you know you can try AWR software products today for free at Try AWR? See for yourself how easy and effective it is to streamline your design process, improve end-product performance, and accelerate time to market for MMICs, RFICs, RF PCBs, microwave modules, antennas, communications systems, radar systems, and more.
The fourth in the series of AWR Design Environment Tips and Tricks, this blog highlights advanced customization of the AWR Design Environment workspace to speed design creation and optimize use of AWR software.
The AWR Design Environment is highly customizable. Advanced customization options include using scripts to automate repetitive tasks and create custom parts libraries, creating custom symbols for subcircuits, and using parameterized layout cells.
The AWR Design Environment software supports automating tasks in the environment with the use of scripting. Creating custom automation scripts is straightforward and requires little programming knowledge. Custom automation personalizes the design environment and allows you to streamline your design flow and spend more time focusing on the design rather than driving the design software.
The platform includes many useful user utilities accessible on the Scripts menu. You do not need to know a scripting language or development environment to use the scripts.
The AWR Scripting Editor provides a scripting development environment, a full description of the API objects available, and many examples of how to use each object.
When writing scripts in the AWR Scripting Editor, simply press the F1 key while hovering the mouse cursor over a command to get Help for that command. If the command is an AWR registered command, the associated AWR Design Environment Help opens to that page.
The Create_XML_Library script (choose Scripts > Project > Create_XML_Library) helps you create a library of parts for Microwave Office and Visual System Simulator software. You configure the parts you want in an AWR Design Environment project, and the script writes out all the necessary information to an XML format that is used to describe parts libraries. It is much easier to configure the parts in a schematic or system diagram than editing XML files directly. You can use this script for various purposes including:
To use this script and the new library in the AWR Design Environment, see Creating a Custom XML Library.
When you use hierarchy in design, you add subcircuits into your current design. Schematics, data files, or EM documents can all be subcircuits of a circuit design, and system diagrams can use other system diagrams as subcircuits. Ctrl + K is the shortcut to add a subcircuit to your current design. When you add a subcircuit, by default the symbol is the generic N-port subcircuit.
The Symbol Generator Wizard, located under the Wizards node in the Project Browser, lets you create a custom symbol for a subcircuit based on properties of the subcircuit, and then display a preview of the custom symbol. These symbols can place nodes based on the schematic or layout representation of a subcircuit. To open the Symbol Generator simply double-click its node. For Help on Symbol Generator options, select the Symbol Generator under the Wizards node and press F1.
You can edit a user-defined symbol by right-clicking the symbol and choosing Edit Custom Symbol to open the Manage Symbols dialog box.
You can easily parameterize an EM or schematic layout by selecting the shape(s) to be parameterized and then choosing Draw > Parameterized Modifiers > <modifier>. Click and drag the cursor over the edge of the selected shape. Available modifiers depend on the type of layout object selected, and include Edge, Point Stretch, Width, Radius, Ellipse Size, Array, Spacing, Polar Spacing, Stretch Area, Control Point, Layer Offset, Layer Resize, Layer Boolean, Layer Corner, or Shape Preprocessor modifiers.
To verify or edit the order of the parameterization, choose Layout > Modifier Properties to open the Modifier Properties dialog box, in which you can view applied modifiers and change their order. The order of execution of layout modifiers can affect the final layout. Each modifier type has a given priority as well as an order. In general, the order is determined by the order in which you add the modifiers, and the priority of the modifier. After any changes to the order of execution, choose Layout > Update Modifiers to update the layout.
Layout modifiers are categorized by three priorities, from high to low priority:
* Priority 1: Simple shape modifiers (e.g.: Edge, Width, Circle Radius, Array)
* Priority 2: Shape Modification modifiers (e.g.: Stretch Area)
* Priority 3: Global Layer Modifiers (e.g.: Layer Offset, Layer Resize)
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