Ansys recently announced the release of its industry gold-standard simulators in Ansys Electronics Desktop Student, a free software product available for download to anyone who wants to learn about electronics simulation. A leading light in the world of computer-aided design software, this news should come as music to the ears of every engineering student around the world.
This is not the first time that Ansys has released its flagship simulation software for free. Since 2015, the company has been offering simulation software downloads for free through its Ansys Academic Program. Since then, its Ansys Student, Ansys LS-DYNA Student, Ansys SCADE Student, and Ansys Discovery Student packages have all accumulated over 1.9 million downloads.
This decision made by Ansys is part of its mission to help support budding and experienced engineers around the world to take on the engineering challenges in today’s world with the power of simulation.
“Supporting engineers during every phase of their career is a top priority for Ansys. This launch will enable students to excel in an increasingly competitive, dynamic, and evolving global economy, and – ultimately – help shape the future of product design as these students become the next generation of inventors,” said Prith Banerjee, the Chief Technology Officer at Ansys.
What is Ansys' Electronic Desktop Student Software?
So, what exactly is included in the free downloadable software?
Ansys' Electronic Desktop Student helps expand access to industry-leading electronics simulation solutions for students and self-learners alike. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Ansys HFSS - This is a multipurpose, "full-wave 3D" electromagnetic (EM) simulation software that helps users design and simulate high-frequency electronic products. This could include things like antennas, components, interconnects, connectors, integrated circuits (ICS), and, of course, printed circuit boards (PCBs).
- Ansys Maxwell - This is an EM field solver for electric machines, transformers, wireless charging, permanent magnet latches, actuators, and other electromechanical devices. This software solves static, frequency-domain, and time-varying magnetic and electric fields.
- Ansys Q3D Extractor - This software calculates the parasitic parameter of frequency-dependent resistance, inductance, capacitance, and conductance (RLCG) for electronic products.
- Ansys Icepak - This is a CFD solver for electronics thermal management. It predicts airflow, temperature, and heat transfer in IC packages, PCBs, electronic assemblies/enclosures, and power electronics.
Access to these powerful simulation tools will prove invaluable for any electrical engineering undergraduate, postgraduate, or independent self-learner looking to hone their simulation skills. The product can also be used to support the learning experience with free online Ansys Innovation Courses that help you get started with and harness the power of simulation.
This package will greatly help students learn by doing. In fact, Ansys is keen to point out "simulation has been shown to accelerate learning and is a skill set that when acquired can make an engineer a more attractive job candidate."
This is welcome news for educators too
Ansys' decision to make this software free for learners has also come as welcome news for educators too.
"Ansys HFSS is a game-changer for students and any self-learner,” says Eric Bogatin, dean of the Signal Integrity Academy and adjunct professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
“I hear over and over how valuable simulation skills are to employers. It’s more than just knowing what buttons to push — it is also about the right way to interpret the results. Best simulation practices take time to learn and require guidance from expert teachers," he added.
Simulators like Ansys HFSS and supporting educational materials by Ansys will help accelerate the learning curve for many learners, better equipping them for a future in the industry.
Coupled with the large collection of online Ansys Innovation Courses (AIC), students will improve their knowledge of physics while teaching themselves about simulation.
“The free student version of Ansys HFSS is a great development for several reasons,” says Kathryn Leigh Smith, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
“First, it supports easy access for both traditional and non-traditional students looking to access the tool on their own, without the support of a VPN or other university connection. Second, putting HFSS directly in the hands of learners opens up the field for anyone interested in learning to use the software. This gives students a big advantage in learning electromagnetics, and ultimately in job-readiness, as many employers prioritize candidates with HFSS experience,” she explains.
In summary, developing knowledge of electronics simulation will give students a competitive edge in the job market. It will also help prepare them for the next generation of innovation in engineering. A win, win for all.
A mission to make the next-gen engineers comfortable with simulation software
Ansys firmly believes in the benefit of educating the next generation of engineers in the current best practices of simulation. Through their goal of attaining "pervasive engineering simulation", Ansys want future graduates to be prepared to perform simulations that were previously relegated to highly experienced engineering analysts.
By removing the financial barriers to access simulation software, it is hoped that students will learn to solve some of the world’s most complex challenges in areas like 5G, autonomous vehicles, electrification, alternative energy, and more.
"When every engineer is comfortable with simulation, every organization benefits from increased productivity, reduced costs, and accelerated time to market," says Ansys.
Ansys' decision to offer its Electronics Desktop Student for free is just its latest step on a journey to make simulation pervasive.
According to Ansys, they are only just getting started too. You can visit the Ansys Electronics Desktop Student page to find out more.
Who is Ansys?
Ansys is headquartered south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A, and is the global leader in engineering simulation. Ansys offers the broadest portfolio of engineering simulation software and helps companies around the world solve complex design challenges with their software.