Ansys HFSS: 3D High Frequency Electromagnetics

Ansys HFSS is the industry standard software for engineers undertaking accurate and rapid design within high-frequency and high-speed electronic devices and platforms.


3D Electromagnetic Field Simulator for RF and Wireless Design

Ansys HFSS is a 3D electromagnetic (EM) simulation software for designing and simulating high-frequency electronic products such as antennas, antenna arrays, RF or microwave components, high-speed interconnects, filters, connectors, IC packages and printed circuit boards. Engineers worldwide use Ansys HFSS software to design high-frequency, high-speed electronics found in communications systems, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), satellites, and internet-of-things (IoT) products.

From Chips to Ships, Solve Them All with HFSS Mesh Fusion Technology

HFSS Mesh Fusion’s patented technology enables much more complex designs to be simulated with the same rigor, accuracy and reliability of Ansys HFSS. It accomplishes this by applying targeted meshing technologies within the same design, appropriate to the local geometry. HFSS Mesh Fusion continues to use the same “electromagnetically aware” adaptive meshing technology as before without compromising accuracy because a fully coupled electromagnetic matrix is solved with each adaptive mesh step and for each point in a frequency sweep.  

Smarter Antenna Design and Placement Simulation

Antennas are virtually everywhere. From commercial applications such as smartphones, RFID tags, and wireless printers, to defense applications such as phased array antennas for aircraft radar systems or autonomous vehicles, to integrated ground-based communication systems. Electromagnetic simulation of antenna design and its interaction with the entire system allows designers to evaluate “what if” real life scenarios.

  • Component Design
  • Antenna Placement and Co-site
  • EMI/Co-Site Interference
  • Lightning Strike Simulation

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High-Performance Sensor Design for All Conditions

Sensors are critical components that provide the information autonomous vehicles need to make intelligent and safe decisions. They must reliably deliver high performance capabilities and function in a wide range of adverse operating conditions, including rain, ice and snow. Simulation is proven to enable engineers to improve sensor performance, determine optimal vehicle integration configurations and examine their behavior across a wide range of operational scenarios. With such safety-critical systems, the most accurate, physics-based simulation tools are required. Ansys provides a comprehensive autonomous vehicle sensor development capability, including: Lidar Ansys multiphysics solutions, including optomechanical, thermal interactions and an optical materials properties library, enable rapid emitter and receiver design and placement optimization.


Ansys multiphysics simulation solutions enable rapid camera design and placement studies using vision performance analysis and high-fidelity lens transfer functions for optomechanical optimization, placement and validation.


With Ansys’ proven electromagnetic simulation capabilities, engineers can rapidly analyze radar system performance in complex, dynamic scenarios and improve the accuracy of their response to potential hazards.

Electromagnetic Interference and Compatibility (EMI/EMC)

Electronic systems are often safety or mission critical. They form the backbone of global technology disruptions, from 5G-connected devices to autonomous vehicles and the Internet of Things. As performance requirements increase and electronics proliferate, the risk of interference leading to degraded performance, unintended consequences—or even failure—rises dramatically. With simulation, EMI/EMC issues can be resolved in advance, with reduced physical testing to deliver high-performance, safe and compliant designs.

PCB Board Modeling and Simulation

Printed circuit boards (PCBs), ICs and IC packages are used in almost all electronic products across all industries: automotive, A&D, consumer electronics, healthcare and energy. With electronics getting smaller, engineers need to design boards that are smaller than ever and incorporate all the required features. Accurate modeling and simulation of these components are key to reliable end products.

  • SI, PI and EMI Analysis
  • Electrothermal Analysis
  • Shock and Vibration Analysis
  • Reliability Prediction

Radar Cross Section (RCS)

With the integration of HFSS SBR+, Ansys HFSS is empowered with new capability to model radar signatures of electrically very large targets and scenes. Shooting and bouncing rays (SBR) is a ray-tracing technique based on Physical Optics (PO), which has been extended to multi-bounce interactions through Geometric Optics (GO) ray tracing. HFSS SBR+ is suitable for efficiently solving electromagnetic problems that are hundreds and thousands of wavelengths in size. The integration of HFSS SBR+ to the available high-frequency EM solver technologies in Ansys Electronics Desktop allows radar designers to apply the best simulation technologies for predicting radar signatures of structures ranging from sub-wavelengths to kilo-wavelengths. HFSS SBR+ is ideal for the design of collision detection and avoidance systems and stealth technology. Powered by advanced, edge diffraction physics from the PTD and UTD frameworks, HFSS SBR+ provides accurate and efficient large-scale electromagnetic modeling for structures containing metals and dielectrics, as well as structures with dielectric losses, multi-layer dielectrics and absorbing materials. Ansys now provides a single framework for all high-frequency EM solvers to facilitate a smooth and unified workflow, for solving these complex electromagnetic problems. Additionally, for radar signature analyses, HFSS SBR+ features monostatic and bi-static RCS modeling capabilities with the implementation of plane wave excitations.

ANSYS HFSS‘ gold-standard accuracy, advanced solvers and high-performance computing technologies make it an essential tool for high frequency electromagnetic design and validation. It offers state-of the-art solver technologies based on finite element, integral equation, asymptotic and advanced hybrid methods to address a wide range of microwave, RF and high-speed digital applications.

  • Antenna Design Toolkit
  • Radar Pre/Post Processing
  • Frequency and Time Domain FEM
  • Hybrid FEM/IE/SBR+ Solver
  • 3D Layout ECAD Flow
  • SBR+ for Large Scale EMs
  • SBR+ Accelerated Doppler Processing (Optional)
  • Integral Equation (MoM)
  • Memory Matrix Solvers
  • 5G Post-Processing
  • Concurrent Initial 3D Meshing
  • Multiplication Solver

HFSS delivers 3-D full-wave accuracy for components to enable RF and high-speed design. By leveraging advanced electromagnetic field simulators dynamically linked to powerful harmonic-balance and transient circuit simulation, HFSS breaks the cycle of repeated design iterations and lengthy physical prototyping. With HFSS, engineering teams consistently achieve best-in-class design in a broad range of applications including antennas, phased arrays, passive RF/mW components, high-speed interconnects, connectors, IC packaging and PCBs. Design sign-off accuracy is provided by HFSS through its groundbreaking and industry-leading adaptive meshing technology. Its powerful meshing and solver technologies enable you to design with confidence, knowing the results provided by HFSS can be relied on. Other tools simply give answers without any feedback regarding the accuracy of the solution, leading to uncertainty. When combined with ANSYS HPC technologies, like domain decomposition or distributed frequencies, HFSS can simulate at a speed and scale never before thought possible, further allowing you to more fully explore and optimize your device’s performance. With HFSS you know your designs will deliver on their product promise.

ANSYS HFSS combines the highly accurate finite element method (FEM), the large-scale method of moments (MoM) technique, the ultra-large-scale asymptotic methods of physical optics (PO) and shooting and bouncing rays (SBR). Solvers included with ANSYS HFSS: HFSS: 3-D, Full-Wave, frequency domain EM solver based on the finite element method. Engineers can reliably extract SYZ parameters, visualize 3-D electromagnetic fields, and generate component models to evaluate signal quality, transmission path loss, impedance mismatch, parasitic coupling and far-field radiation. HFSS Transient: Simulate transient EM field behavior and visualize fields or system responses in applications such as time domain reflectometry (TDR), ground-penetrating radar (GPR), electrostatic discharge (ESD), electromagnetic interference (EMI) and lightning strikes. This technology complements the frequency domain solution in HFSS, and enables engineers to understand the electromagnetic characteristics on the same mesh and in whichever domain is desired. HFSS SBR+: Advanced antenna performance simulation software that provides fast and accurate prediction of installed antenna patterns, near-fields and antenna-to-antenna coupling on electrically large platforms. It leverages the asymptotic Shooting and Bouncing Ray Plus (SBR+) technique to efficiently compute accurate solutions with incredible speed and scalability. HFSS IE: he HFSS-IE (Integral Equation) uses the method of moments (MoM) technique in 3-D. It is ideal for radiation studies, such as antenna design or placement, and scattering studies such as radar cross section (RCS). The solver can employ either multilevel fast multipole methods (MLFMM) or adaptive cross-approximation (ACA) to reduce memory requirements and solve times, allowing this tool to be applied to very large problems. HFSS Hybrid Technologies: The Finite Element-Boundary Integral (FE-BI) hybrid technology provides an ideal absorbing boundary condition for HFSS. Simulations involving antenna platform integration can be significantly reduced in size by allowing a conformal radiation boundary, including concave geometries, that reduces the overall volume of the finite element domain. The FEM-IE hybrid technology is built upon HFSS, HFSS-IE and the domain decomposition method (DDM). to solve electrically large and complex systems. By locally applying the appropriate solver technology, regions of high geometric detail and complex material properties can be addressed with finite element HFSS, and regions of large objects or installed platforms can be addressed with 3-D MoM HFSS-IE. This solution is delivered in a single setup and solved with a single, scalable system matrix.

Automatic Adaptive Meshing

Automatic adaptive meshing techniques require you to specify only geometry, material properties and the desired output. The meshing process uses a highly robust volumetric meshing technique, and includes a multithreading capability that reduces the amount of memory used and accelerates time to solution. This proven technology eliminates the complexity of building and refining a finite element mesh and makes advanced numerical analysis practical for all levels of your organization.




Optimized User Environment

The full-featured 3-D solid modeler and layout interface enables you to work in a layout design flow, or to import and edit 3-D CAD geometry. HFSS 3-D Modeler: The 3-D interface enables you to model complex 3-D geometry or import CAD geometry for simulation of high-frequency components, such as antennas, RF/microwave components and biomedical devices. You can extract scattering matrix parameters (S,Y, Z parameters), visualize 3-D electromagnetic fields (near- and far-field), and generate ANSYS Full-Wave SPICE models that link to circuit simulations. HFSS 3-D Layout: HFSS 3-D Layout is an optimized interface for layered geometry of PCBs, IC packages or on-chip embedded passives. Geometry is assembled and rendered in a 2-D design environment; however, all effects are rigorously simulated, including 3-D features such as trace thickness and etching, bondwires, solder bumps and solder balls. Layout primitives such as stack-up dimensions, anti-pad radius, trace widths or thicknesses can be easily parameterized in the design environment. HFSS 3-D Layout includes advanced phi meshing technology that is optimized for meshing silicon substrates, redistribution layers, electronic packages and PCBs.

3-D Components

HFSS can create 3-D EM simulation components and integrate them into larger assemblies and systems, cutting design time and fostering collaboration while protecting IP. These 3-D components can include antennas, connectors, phased arrays and highly integrated chip-package-board systems that, when utilized in HFSS, create a complete and accurate description of the devices. This capability is especially useful for sharing detailed device models within an organization and between supplier and system integrators. Simulation-ready 3-D components can be created by an expert component designer, stored in library files, and then easily added to larger system designs. You can optionally encrypt and hide design information in the 3-D component, including geometry, materials and other critical IP, and then share the component throughout the supply chain. The shared component’s behavior is fully captured in the subsequent HFSS simulation without compromising on accuracy. Sharing encrypted components enables system integrators to capture the complete electromagnetic interaction between a component, such as a supplier-provided antenna, and the installed platform.



Advanced Phased Array Antenna Simulation

ANSYS HFSS can simulate phased-array antennas with all electromagnetic effects, including element-to-element coupling, embedded element patterns, scan input impedance and near- or far-field radiation. Infinitely large and finite-sized arrays can be simulated efficiently by exploiting the periodic nature of the geometry. For infinite arrays, one or more antenna elements are placed within a unit cell with periodic boundary conditions on the surrounding walls to mirror fields creating an infinite number of elements in two directions. Per-element scan impedance and embedded element radiation patterns can be computed, including all mutual coupling effects. The method is especially useful for predicting array blind zones that can occur under certain scan conditions. The finite-sized array simulation technology leverages HPC domain decomposition to obtain a fast solution for large finite-sized arrays. This technology makes it possible to perform complete array analysis to predict all mutual coupling, scan impedance, element patterns, array patterns and array edge effects.

High-Performance Computing

ANSYS Electronics HPC goes well beyond simple hardware acceleration to deliver groundbreaking numerical solvers and HPC methodologies optimized for multicore machines, while being scalable to take advantage of full compute cluster power. Multithreading: ANSYS Electronics HPC takes advantage of multiple cores on a single computer to reduce solution time. Multithreading technology speeds up the initial mesh generation, matrix solves, and field recovery. Spectral Decomposition Method: The spectral decomposition method (SDM) accelerates frequency sweeps by distributing multiple frequency points in parallel over compute cores and nodes. Domain Decomposition Method: The domain decomposition method (DDM) accelerates the solution for larger and more complex geometries by distributing a simulation across multiple cores and networked nodes. Periodic Domain Decomposition: Periodic domain decomposition applies DDM to finite periodic structures such as antenna arrays or frequency selective surfaces. This method virtually duplicates the geometry and mesh of the periodic unit cell and then applies the DDM algorithm to the resulting finite-sized array to solve for the unique fields for all elements. Hybrid Domain Decomposition Method: Hybrid DDM uses DDM on models consisting of finite element (FEM) and integral equation (IE) domains. This methodology combines the virtues of FEM’s ability to handle complex geometries plus MoM’s efficient solutions for antenna and radar cross-section analysis. Distributed Direct Matrix Solver: The distributed direct matrix solver is a distributed memory parallel technique for HFSS. The matrix solution is distributed across multiple cores or MPI-integrated computers. It provides improved scalability through increased memory access and networked core access.




The ANSYS RF Option combined with HFSS creates an end-to-end high-performance RF simulation flow. Its features include a harmonic balance circuit simulation, 2.5-D planar method of moments solver, filter synthesis and more. It also includes EMIT, a unique multifidelity approach for predicting RF cosite interference to identify root-cause EMI issues in complex RF environments. EMIT

  • A complete RF co-site and antenna coexistence analysis environment
  • Automated diagnostics for rapid root-cause analysis
  • Quick assessment and comparison of potential mitigation measures
  • RF component library
  • Multifidelity parametric radio models
  • Antenna-to-Antenna coupling models

Circuit Analyses

  • Linear
  • Transient
  • DC analysis with multiple continuation options
  • Multitone harmonic balance

Shooting Method

  • Oscillator analysis

Autonomous Plus Driven Sources Option

  • Time varying noise and phase noise
  • Envelope

Multicarrier Modulation Support

  • Load pull and model support
  • Periodic transfer function


The ANSYS SI option is ideal for analyzing signal integrity, power integrity and EMI caused by shrinking timing and noise margins in ICs, packages, connectors and PCBs. The ANSYS SI option adds transient circuit analysis to HFSS, which enables you to create high-speed channel designs that include the driving circuitry as well as the channel. The driving circuitry can be transistor level, IBIS-based or ideal sources. Users can select from a variety of analysis types:

  • Linear network analysis
  • Transient analysis
  • QuickEye and VerifEye analyses for fast eye generation in high-speed channel design, bathtub curves, jitter and eye masks
  • Monte Carlo analysis supporting Spectre® and HSPICE® functionality
  • DC analysis with automated convergence
  • Dynamic links with ANSYS Q3D Extractor and ANSYS SIwave
  • IBIS-AMI analysis and model support


Advanced Broadband SPICE Model Generation

ANSYS Full-Wave SPICE, included in ANSYS HFSS, provides frequency-dependent SPICE models for accurate time-domain simulation in time-domain circuit analysis tools. ANSYS Full-Wave SPICE models can be created for use with ANSYS Nexxim, HSPICE®, Spectre® RF and MATLAB®. Full-Wave SPICE produces highly accurate, high-bandwidth SPICE models at the touch of a button. This capability enables you to design electronic and communication components while taking gigahertz-frequency effects into account.

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