Ansys EMC Plus What’s New 2024 R1

Another round of new features is coming to Ansys EMC Plus. This new release makes running simulations faster and makes it easier for full-vehicle EMI/EMC analysis.

2024 R1 featured updates include:

  • GPU accelerated solver
  • 3D field and current visualization
  • Transfer impedance simulator
  • Cable wiring connectivity automatic assignment to 3D cables from mechanical CAD

“We’re very excited about all of the new features that we have in the product,” said EMA President Tim McDonald.

EMC Plus is a device and platform level electromagnetic modeling solution. Application areas include electromagnetic environmental effects (E3), cables, EMI/EMC, and RF de-sense.

GPU Accelerated Solver

New in 2024 R1, EMC Plus now supports GPU (graphics processing unit) acceleration.

“Having the ability to use GPUs is our number one featured update for the new release,” McDonald said. “It really opens up new things that can be analyzed.”

The solver runs on Linux platforms. Simulations can be run utilizing multiple GPUs in parallel. This leads to significantly shorter run times than pure CPU (central processing unit) simulation.

“We’re seeing extreme speeds, up to 16 times faster compared to CPU simulation,” McDonald said. “We can have more complexity in our models, we can have more iterations by simulating faster.”

Benchmarks show inexpensive GPUs simulate four times faster than using a multi-core CPU alone. Scaling on multiple GPUs and more performant GPU hardware shows additional speed improvement.

EMC Plus will work as it always has, but now new binaries will call a special version of the software that will utilize GPU calls. If the machine has a GPU, the user just needs to specify the number of cards that will be used.

“Everything else is the same as the software has been before and it remains user friendly,” McDonald said.

3D Field and Current Visualization

Our second highlighted feature is the ability to visualize quantities in 3D. This update will help to better communicate product performance from an electromagnetic standpoint.

This feature quickly visualizes quantities, such as electric fields, magnetic fields, and electric current, in 3D. To start, users need to create a box to contain the fields to probe. Once a quantity has been specified, users have the option to specify the time range the results will show, this is seen in Figure 1. After running the simulation, the results are superimposed on the geometry, Figure 2. Clipping planes slice through the results to find the regions for users to inspect.

Fig. 1. Ansys EMC Plus setting to show options for 3D visualization.

“The results are cast into space in 3D and then we can see as function of time, we can see the time evolution of those fields and currents,” McDonald said. “That gives you intuition on what’s happening.”

Users have the ability to select which timestep to view and the field/ current quantity and X, Y, Z, or the magnitude may be specified. When viewing the results, the maximum and minimum range in the legend is interactive. The slice tools allows users to change which part of the 3D space is visible.

Fig. 2. 3D results shown on the model.

As an example, if you have an enclosure, there are fields that may be coming in through different apertures or coupling mechanisms. This new visualization will show hot spots to determine where you have coupling. In a radiation problem you will be able to visualize the radiation pattern in the far field from the antenna.

This tool uses the native Ansys Discovery visualization engine to set up the simulation, run the simulation, and visualize the results.

“It’s very intuitive, you don’t need complex training, you just click one button and it’s self-explanatory how you visualize those fields,” McDonald said.

Transfer Impedance Simulator

The third highlighted new feature for 2024 R1 is the addition of a transfer impedance simulator. This will allow users to predict the transfer impedance of a braided shield. McDonald says the new feature gives users a way to do that with the least amount of effort possible since every aspect of the simulation is automated.

Braided cables have imperfections, or small holes, that allow fields to couple through, this can be seen in Figure 3. These holes can allow fields to couple inside the braids. Transfer impedance is an important method of assessing the shielding effectiveness of the cable while doing it in an intrinsic way that does not change from measurement to measurement.

“This new approach gives you a way to simulate the smallest details of those cable braids,” McDonald said.

Fig. 3. Left: Overbraid CAD. Right: Close-up of mesh superimposed on the braid geometry.

EMA has existing analytical models for transfer impedance, and it is an important metric used in the MHARNESS solver of EMC Plus as a frequency-dependent measure of the shielding of a cable braid. This new feature uses full-wave simulation which will lead to more accurate results.

“There’s multiple analytical models of cable braids and they’ve been with us for many decades,” McDonald said. “The problem is, sometimes they don’t agree with each other and sometimes they don’t perfectly agree with empirical measurements. So, having a trusted high-fidelity way of simulating braided cables is something that a lot of our customers have been asking for.”

This is an automated workflow. The braid geometry is automatically created based on input specifications, such as stands, carriers, and weave angle. Once a CAD model has been generated, the software creates the appropriate domain, source, and probe definitions. EMC Plus also meshes the geometry and executes the simulation. This process is seen in Figure 4.

Figure 4. Automated workflow for the transfer impedance simulator.

“For many users they would never need to do this kind of high-fidelity braid simulation,” McDonald said. “But other users really need this, and they need that accurate way of predicting transfer impedance, so this is a powerful tool for those users.”

Users have the ability to change settings for fine control over the geometry and model type. Each individual carrier in the braid can be defined as either a line, surface, or a body, seen in Figure 5. McDonald says the surface or line representations simulate much faster, but they are not as accurate as the body representation. He says the body simulation is the highest fidelity but has the highest computational cost.

“So, you can see looking closely, just the incredible fine detail that’s possible when simulating these cables,” he said.

Fig. 5. EMC Plus allows for flexible braid modeling.

Other customizable pieces of the model include multiple types of weave angles in the cables and carriers that create different gaps seen in braided cables. Also, the radius of the overall shield, the number of carriers, the number of individual strands, wire diameters, pitch angle, the overall length of the cable, and the excitation frequency that the user wants to focus on.

“Once you know some of these transfer impedance values, you can use them in a larger simulation of an entire device or an entire vehicle,” McDonald said.

Cable Wiring Connectivity Automatic Assignment to 3D Cable from Mechanical CAD

Featured highlight number four is the ability to automatically assign cable wire connectivity data to 3D cables from mechanical CAD. This makes full vehicle simulation easier.

In automotive applications, cables are represented in cable database software, often called wiring diagrams, and are typically a wire board representation. This will tell the user information such as which electronic device is connected to another electronic device and the number of pins that are connected. These are represented as KBL files. This is inherently a two-dimensional process. If the user needs the 3D path of the cables, it is contained within 3D mechanical computer aided design (mCAD). The latest update to EMC Plus can automatically merge the cable wiring connectivity information and the 3D path of the cables based on the segment identifying names.

If 3D geometry of the harness route exists, it can be used to map the 2D wiring to the correct 3D location. The lines representing harness routes should be labeled with the correct segment identifier matching the labels in the cable database software file, Figure 6.

“In this case, if you look in that 3D description of where all of those tubes are that represent the routing path of the cables, we need to make sure that the moniker, the name for the segment matches up with the name and our wiring diagram software,” McDonald said.

Fig. 6. Cable database wiring diagram mapping to 3D geometry.

To merge the two separate pieces of information, users have to start by importing the 2D wiring diagram file from the cable database software. To map the 2D wiring diagram file to the 3D geometry, the “Map 2D Harness” box must be checked, Figure 7. Use NURBS as the line type. By pressing the next button, the mapping process is initiated and a 3D KBL file is created.

“We can import cable database formats from Zuken, E3.series, Mentor Capital Harness, VeSys, and a wide variety of other types of cable database software as long as there is a segment name that matches what we have in those three-dimensional routing paths, that’s all that’s needed,” McDonald said.

Fig. 7. Setting in EMC Plus to import 2D wiring.

After clicking next, users can select which segments to import, Fig. 8. The geometry for each segment can also be selected from the wiring diagram file or assigned to a curve in the model manually. By right clicking you can select all.

Fig. 8. Setting the geometry source from file.

Once the import wizard finishes the harness import the 3D harness will be visible and the cross section of each segment can be visualized. By right clicking on a segment, you can choose to see the cross section, Fig. 9.

Fig. 9. Viewing the imported harness.

“We will have a fully self-consistent description in three dimensions for every path, every conductor, every shield in that cable,” McDonald said. “So, that’s really what’s needed to create full vehicle models and you can use that for electromagnetic analysis of many different kinds.”

Other Updates

These are just four of several updates released in 2024 R1. The others include:

  • Non-circular multiconductor transmission line conductor cross sections
  • Direct mesh editing features
  • Radiation pattern probe
  • Auto-alignment of 3D mesh edges to geometry
  • PCB geometry import improvements
  • Standalone transient circuit solver
  • STK and EMC Plus lightning probability tool
  • Specific absorption rate modeling

“We’re very excited about all of the new features that we have in the product,” McDonald said. “You will definitely want to reach out to your Ansys sales professional or Ansys channel professional to talk about what the rest of these features are or to get a demonstration of the ones I’ve talked about.”

EMC Plus is maintained by EMA and sold exclusively through Ansys. If you are interested in learning more, just click here.