Electromagnetic simulation has been used by RF engineers for many years to aid the design of automotive radar sensors, but the increasing demands of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are changing the methods used. Accurate modeling of increasingly complex circuits and antenna systems leads to simulation problem sizes too large (in terms of physical memory, i.e. RAM) for traditional frequency-domain finite element method (FEM) formulations. As a result of those limitations, design engineers who use FEM tools are forced to simplify their simulation models to fit the computational resources available, trading away accuracy and limiting the effectiveness of their simulator.
To meet the increasing accuracy needs of high performance automotive radar design work, the finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method has emerged as the solution. Not only can FDTD give engineers accuracy by simulating large problems using GPU acceleration technology, FDTD allows users to watch electric fields propagate through the simulation space and to find unwanted signal coupling in the time-domain.