January 3

ANSYS HFSS: Everything to Know

ANSYS HFSS: Everything to Know

Sohaib Alam

New features and options in ANSYS HFSS

This article/tutorial looks into the new features and options in ANSYS HFSS latest version. It also covers the tutorial on how to ‘split’ your part into its components for HFSS simulation

Table of Contents (Click for easy navigation)


Ansys HFSS (High-Frequency Structure Simulator) is a 3D electromagnetic (EM) software that is primarily used for the simulation of high-frequency electronic products such as radio wave components, antenna rays, high-speed interconnects, connectors, IC packages, printed circuit boards, and microwave components. 

ANSYS HFSS is used globally by engineers to design and simulate high-speed, high-frequency electronics in radar systems, communication systems, satellites, ADAS, IoT products, and other digital devices and high-speed RF devices.

Antenna simulation on F-22 Raptor aircraft using ANSYS HFSS


To determine how your electronic component designs will behave in real-world, it is important to have an accurate and fast account of them as the performance of electronic devices depends directly on electromagnetic behavior. And all this design simulation should be carried out long before an actual prototype comes into existence. This is where ANSYS HFSS comes handy. It gives you the all needed confidence for your design with a state-of-the-art technology that delivers accurate answers with minimal user involvement. 

It is critical for electronic product designers and engineers to understand the electromagnetic environment and accurately predict how a component, system, end-product or system the – perform in the field or how it actively influences the performance of other nearby components. ANSYS HFSS comprehensively addresses the entire range of electromagnetic problems including electromagnetic losses due to attenuation, coupling, radiation, and reflection. 

ANSYS HFSS uses multiple advanced solver technologies that allow the users to match the appropriate solver to any simulation. Each solver in ANSYS HFSS is an automated, powerful solution processor for which the user dictates the geometry, properties of the material and the required range of solution frequencies. Based on this input, the software can generate the most appropriate, accurate and efficient mesh for the simulation, resulting in the highest-fidelity solution possible. 

Integration in the ANSYS Workbench

The accuracy and power of ANSYS HFSS is fully accessible via ANSYS Workbench. This allows the users to have multi-physics simulations in a central user interface that can directly link with the enterprise mechanical CAD tools. With such capabilities in one place, the user can simulate fluid- and thermal-based issues that require the use of HFSS. Along with this, you can share HFSS simulated models across the platform. Fluid, electrical, thermal and mechanical engineers can leverage HFSS results to complement their simulation demands. 

ANSYS HFSS is fully integrated with Workbench® and its built-in Ansoft designer

Features and functions of ANSYS HFSS

ANSYS HFSS is the one-stop simulation solution for the industrial and academic electromagnetic simulation needs. HFSS comes packed with a lot of different features and functions. The most prominent are discussed below;

Signal Integrity

With HFSS, design and testing engineers can evaluate the electromagnetic interfaces and the signal strength in connectors and transmission lines on PCBs, electrical storage devices, high-speed components of computer servers and telecom systems. The signal integrity feature allows engineers all over the world to leverage this feature and bring a competitive edge to their designs and products. 


HFSS incorporates the use of multiprocessing to use multiple cores on a single, shared memory machine for solving complex and demanding problems. Multiprocessing allows the processes such as meshing, matrix factorization and field recovery to be greatly accelerated – reducing overall processing time for the solution

CapabilityMulti-processingHPCLicenses distributed solve
Multiple CoresXX
Distributed solve engines
Distributed frequency sweeps
Distributed design variations

HFSS makes use of modern computing power with multi-processing, HPC and distributed computing options

ANSYS HFSS can use multiple domains to carry out its simulation to reduce processing times

Antenna Designing

ANSYS HFSS uses modern technologies for the simulation of installed antenna performance with the integration of ‘Shooting and Bouncing Ray’ (SBR+). Using this accurate and powerful method, ANSYS HFSS SBR+ can reliably predict the interference and performance of antennas mounted over electrical platforms.

Antenna pattern of an antenna on the International Space Station

Along with the integrated antenna design toolkit SBR+, users can make use of antenna synthesizers and optimizer. A finite spectrum of operation along with the increasing number of wireless devices means that the designers must make sure of the antenna interference and attenuation. ANSYS HFSS comes packed with all the features and tools to cater to these needs of the antenna designers. 

Broadband adaptive meshing

The older version of HFSS allowed the users to mesh at different frequencies to give them confident broadband results. However, in the latest iteration of ANSYS, the HFSS 19 introduces even greater and better capabilities for broadband simulations of wireless systems, electronics, and antennas. 

Broadband adaptive meshing and simulation of a human head

The newly added feature in ANSYS HFSS 19 of Broadband Adaptive Meshing (BAM) fully automates the HFSS abilities to quickly make an efficient mesh across a component’s frequency spectrum. With BAM into action, the user can simply define the frequency band of interest, and the software will automatically optimize and refine the complete mesh. This allows users to deliver the results with much more precision and extreme confidence.

3D electromagnetic components optimization

The new 3D component optimization in ANSYS HFSS is a breakthrough in design collaboration and model sharing. The new 3D electromagnetic component design features allow the users to create HFSS ready 3D components that can easily be shared over to collaborators and colleagues with all the important information intact. 

Along with this, the patent-pending encryption feature is also available which allows the product creator to password-protect their design and hide critical design details so that the collaboration between others can be done in a much more streamlined manner without any risk of copyright issues. 

How to import and split solid models for ANSYS HFSS 19?

Importing solid CAD models into ANSYS HFSS has always been a simple process; only that in the latest iteration of ANSYS, it has become even simpler. After opening the ANSYS electronic desktop and creating the HFSS design, go to modeler > import. This will open a dialog box to navigate and directly open your existing 3D model.

Your CAD model will automatically be converted and open in the ANSYS HFSS 3D modeler. If your loaded geometry is complete and does not require further edits, your import considered complete, and you can begin your HFSS analysis on it. Any errors or missing details will automatically give you an error in the error log. 

It must be noted that if you import a product made of multiple components, you would have to split your product into its components to carry out the HFSS analysis on them. If the splitting procedure is not carried out, you can only perform the HFSS on the outermost surface of the part. ANSYS Inc. completely understands this issue and therefore has a built-in tool to split your product into multiple components. 

In the following example, the splitting of the dielectric and its conductors are being shown. First, open the Design modeler or ANSYS SpaceClaim. After opening, you can import the ‘step file’ of the 3D model simply by importing it through the menu file. Open or drag and drop the model into the SCDM window. 

Once successfully imported, you can now separate the body into its parts. To separate, select Design>Intersect>split body. Now rotate the body so that the boundary layers between the components are visible. Zoom into the boundary of the body to make them more visible — Press ‘z’ on the keyboard to do a ‘fit view’ on the screen.  When positioned correctly, click on the part that you want to spilt. Now click on the face that defines the boundary between the outer conductor and the dielectric inside. Now press ‘esc’ key. The spilt is now done. You can do the same procedure for multiple parts as well. 

ANSYS HFSS 19 comes packed with a lot of different features and options that were previously unavailable and were in huge demand by the design and test engineers all over the world. ANSYS HFSS opens a whole range of new possibilities and doors for the electronic products to advance in and cater to the demands of the public. We will be covering more tutorials on different sectors of ANSYS such as the APDL, SpaceClaim, CFX and much more, so stay tuned!

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About the Author

Sohaib Alam is an Undergraduate at the University of Sunderland specializing in Mechanical Engineering. Sohaib specializes in Physics among many other engineering subject matter. He focuses his writing on ANSYS and AutoCAD Inventor.

Sohaib Alam

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