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Which software gives better simulation results ADS or MWO?

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Jul 12, 2002
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Hi there,

I am curious to know which software gives better simulation results in terms of circuit simulation, ADS or MWO? Any opinion will be appreciated. Thanks.


I think you are asking a difficult question. What results is better?

As far as I know, the circuit models (at least for some components) are different between MWO, ADS, Serenade. You can also find discussion on the difference in different versions in MWO's document.

I guess the answer would depend on the circuit.

Re: @DS or MWO

Concerning accuracy, both programs seems to give approx the same result. I have performed linear simulations up to 30 GHz in microstrip structures using both programs.

MWO is much faster, however. And is more user friendly too. But the EM simulator in ADS, the Momentum, seems to be a bit better developed than the corresponding feature in MWO.

For nonlinear simulations there is a volterra series analysis feature in MWO for circuits in light compression, in addition to the standard harmonic balance feature for circuits driven into high compression. Volterra series analysis is said to provide more accurate and faster results in the latter case. This is heavily denied by Agilent who says ADS' HB is accurate during all compression conditions. Accuracy is in the final run heavily depending on the semiconductor model used.

A nice feature with ADS is that it can import and export results to/from CST Microwave Studio 3D EM simulator. Which is the king of 3D Electromagnetic simulators (far better than e.g. HFSS in my opinion).

For a time being, MWO was much cheaper than ADS, i.e. more bang for the buck. But with the new price policy by AWR, the difference is now only marginal.

Another very promising microwave CAD program is Genesys by Eagleware ( Well worth to take a close look at.

lindaknoll2002 said:
Hi there,

I am curious to know which software gives better simulation results in terms of circuit simulation, @DS or MWO? Any opinion will be appreciated. Thanks.


@DS or MWO

MWO is very friendly; @DS is more copleted .

Concerning the statement above: "Concerning accuracy, both programs seems to give approx the same result", it seems that the circuit models for many transmission line components (e.g. radial stub) are different. I have seen cases where MWO and ADS give recompletely different results.

ads is better and more powerful

For mm-meter wave frequency, i think it is a diffcult problem.

I think the only difference is the user interface (schematic capture and post processing). For the circuit level solver, any simulator will do an excellent job.

For 2.5D solver, my experience is that momentum is a piece of junk. Slow and poor user interface. IE3D is much better.

I have to agree that for 2.5D solver, MWO definitely outclass ADS... apparently, solver in MWO is similar to the one in sonnet...

ADS momentum and MWO Emsight are somewhat different. Emsight always put the circuit (or antenna) in a box. Momentum is similar to IE3D, the substrate and ground plane are not bounded. MWO might have difficulty in simulating some antennas or circuits with many fine features that are not easily fit into uniform grids.

I think the developers of Momentum have not put effort on improving its speed. IE3D is obviously faster. But I guess the tricks in IE3D (done for the speed) might break down in some extreme cases (I don't know any yet). On the other hand, momentum seems to be doing everything in the classical ways and is more rigorous. The integration of momentum with other parts of ADS is very convenient, especailly when the circuit is simple and doesn't require too much time for field simulation.

which type of simulation u mean?
if u want to design a power amp for a specific application(i mean digital modulated signals ),u need a system level signals to inject to your power amp and check output spectrum for standard agreement...
with @ds u can run a co-simulation in both system level and transistor level,but not possible in MWo.
also @ds simulator has better convergence ability.
also the post simulation(probe) of @ds is very userfriendly and very powerful.

it seems that @ds is a complete package for rf design specially for rfic design,but MWo normally used for board level design.
i hope it is useful for u.

For RFIC, @DS has some advantage over MWO in terms of faster HB solver i.e Krylov and few more.

For new user, get MWO and you can learn it easily. @DS is not that user friendly and harder to learn. And with @DS, you need to write equation to get certain which could go either way.

Overall, I personally feel that @DS is a more complete package with a lot more capability like circuit envelope, and system level simulation (at higher price) although MWO has just come up with VSS.

Another good point: MWO allows 30-day trial which @DS does not do.


Thanks guys for so many good comments. I think I got some idea now and can make decision which I need to buy. Thanks a gain.


Some @DS example.
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I am stand with riz_aj,for ADS is most powerful soft, and good feature of speed and precision.

MWO is easier to use and much quicker to get results. The tune tool is great. The system simulator is still very new and has some errors in the simulation results. @DS is much harder to use but the results are usually much more accurate. The H*P*tolemy system simulator is powerful and can handle problems much more complex than MWO. For day to day use, I use MWO. For deep insight into complex systems, I use @DS. By the way, before you buy, ask to get a better price. Times are tough out there and there is no need to pay list price if you don't have to.

I did hear that M*WO will join soon Z*eland. Hopefully the price will be the same…it is already close to the limit.

@d$ is very good in rf design

vfone said:
I did hear that M*WO will join soon Z*eland. Hopefully the price will be the same…it is already close to the limit.

If that happens, the emsight might get improved, which is not bad.

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