Latest Enhancements in XFdtd

Current Version: Release 7.4

Remcom introduces PrOGrid Project Optimized GriddingTM and several other productivity-enhancing features that streamline common tasks and make working with XFdtd even more intuitive. We spend a great deal of time examining the challenges and daily work processes of engineers in a wide variety of markets and adding the many features they need. Despite being a robust and comprehensive solution, XFdtd gains economies in computation times with each release.

Major New Features:

PrOGrid Project Optimized Gridding

MATLAB Export Functionality

Market-Specific Features:

Biological Thermal Sensor

Poseable Hand

Other Productivity Enhancements:

STL Import

Dispersive Material Calculator

Cropped 3D Mesh

Constraint Enhancements


Major New Features

PrOGrid Project Optimized Gridding

The new algorithm refines the grid around the discontinuities in the copper trace.The major feature of the release is PrOGrid Project Optimized Gridding, a new capability that simplifies grid creation. PrOGrid incorporates best practices in FDTD modeling by considering multiple aspects of a project to optimize the grid for both accuracy and runtime. Users now have the ability to control the following aspects of gridding:

  • Finer resolution around conductor edges where fields are strongest
  • Minimum number of cells across features, e.g. microstrips and substrates
  • Smaller cells inside dielectrics where the wavelength is shorter
  • Free space padding that is determined based on a fraction of a wavelength

MATLAB Export Functionality

All data available through XF’s Result Browser can be exported to MATLAB and CSV formats. This enables full post-processing of data with MATLAB’s extensive mathematical and visualization capabilities. The following list highlights what is included in the export, but is not exhaustive:

  • E, H, B, and J fields for point, planar, and volumetric sensors
  • Rotating B+/- and SAR results
  • Grid vertex locations and Mesh material properties needed for custom SAR post-processing
Export to MATLAB or CSV option in Results Browser.     Electric fields on horizontal plane passing through an MRI birdcage coil and human brain in MATLAB.


Market-Specific Features

For Biomedical Analysis: Enhanced Biological Thermal Sensor

XF's enhanced Thermal Sensor allows metals and other non-biological objects to be included in the temperature rise computation. The calculations are based on Penne’s Bio-Heat equation and consider the effects of conductive heat transfer between thermally connected materials, blood perfusion, metabolic processes, and general RF heating. The new sensor is well suited for analysis related to:

  • Therapeutic heating devices
  • MRI heating in patients, including effects of implants, probes, and electrodes
  • Microwave thermal ablation
  • Implantable devices

Output from the sensor includes the initial temperature, temperature rise, and final temperature distributions. This data can be visualized in the user interface or exported for custom post processing.

Application Example: Thermal Sensor in 64 MHz Birdcage Coil...

Computed initial temperature distribution for a human showing the effects of metabolic processes.     Temperature increase around a probe that has been inserted in liver tissue.

For Mobile Device Design: Poseable Hands from CADHuman

Mobile devices are held many different ways and XF now has the ability to mimic these numerous grips. The left and right Poseable Hands from CADHuman can be imported and repositioned using controls at each joint in the fingers and thumbs. Further, the imported models can be easily aligned with other Parts in the project, making it easy to grip a device with the imported hand.

Customers that wish to use this capability can purchase the Poseable Hand models directly from CADHuman.  More information can be found at CADHuman’s website.


The performance of handheld devices can be tested with various grips.

Other Productivity Enhancements

STL Import

A single STL file can be separated into multiple Parts after import and assigned different Materials.STL has been added to the list of supported file formats that XF can import. Additionally, XF has the ability to identify multiple objects in a single file and separate them into individual Parts. This allows the various Parts to be oriented separately and be assigned different Material Definitions. STL file are imported through the File > Import > CAD file(s)... menu.

Dispersive Material Calculator

The Dispersive Material Calculator.XF 7.4 provides a Dispersive Material Calculator that fits a single-pole, frequency-dependent, Debye-Drude material to a set of material data points over a frequency range. The data points can be input as:

  • Sampled Data – based on measurements of a material taken at multiple frequencies.
  • Constant Loss Tangent – input as a constant relative permittivity and loss tangent over a frequency range.

After finding the Debye-Drude material parameters that match the input data, a new material is added to the project. This allows users to run a single simulation with dispersive material definitions instead of multiple simulations at each frequency of interest.

Cropped 3D Mesh

Verify connectivity by viewing a portion of the 3D Mesh.Rendering the full geometry as a 3D Mesh can be a time consuming process. New controls have been added that allow the user to specify and view a cropped section of the Mesh. The section can be specified as an arbitrary box or based on the bounding box of selected Parts.


Constraint Enhancements

New button controls whether or not constraints are automatically applied.A button has been added to the Constraint Tools in the 2D Sketcher that controls whether constraints are automatically applied. While sketching, XF detects lines that are vertical, horizontal, perpendicular, or parallel and applies constraints that maintain their orientation. For complex geometries, this behavior is undesirable and it is better for the user to manually control when constraints are applied.