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Back to Basics

Back to Basics

The NI AWR Design Environment platform, inclusive of Microwave Office, Visual System Simulator™, AXIEM, and Analyst™ software, is provided to colleges and universities through a number of programs that support both teaching and public research interests. The software offering encompasses linear, nonlinear, transient, electromagnetic (EM), and system simulation engines, as well as full layout capabilities for students and researchers developing RF/microwave components and communications systems technology.


Experience the industry's most intuitive and user-friendly software, which helps new users learn how to perform all phases of design and providing instructors with a valuable teaching aid.


Develop essential design skills, from schematic entry and circuit design to EM analysis for parasitic extraction and verification, as well as system-level analysis for link and spurious analysis, digital modulation, and end-to-end system design.


All the functionality needed to understand basic RF theory and techniques or work on the most complex new technology research projects.

Solution Highlights


NI is committed to helping students in electrical engineering learn more about fundamental microwave and RF principles, aided with the use of NI AWR software solutions. Teaching universities are supported with NI AWR software donations for qualified programs, eligibility being contingent on the use of NI AWR Design Environment products in a teaching environment. Available tools cover the full range of our product offerings: linear, nonlinear, transient, EM, and system simulation engines, as well as full layout capabilities.


NI works closely with university professors developing teaching materials for their undergraduate and graduate students. Through student access to software and our university support outreach, NI empowers the general microwave/RF community with guides for developing customized curriculum such as our "Professors in Partnership" program, which enhances the real-world design experience for students and helps professionals increase productivity in this extremely competitive industry where design cycles define success.

Public Research

As a leading provider of design software to the RF/microwave industry, NI has first-hand knowledge of the challenges faced in developing and adopting new technologies. This know-how is reflected in the capabilities of our software solutions and the experts who develop and support our products, providing world-class expertise to each advanced research and development project. 

Case Studies

Bits-to-Waves Workshop

The intuitive nature of the NI AWR Design Environment platform enables students to rapidly become proficient with the software and start designing immediately. Because of its ease of use, Dr. David Ricketts of North Carolina State University chose NI AWR software to develop his world-class interactive workshop in which participants learn the basic theory of modern digital radios, as well as the RF circuits used to build them. Following a series of mini-classes on each of the RF components in a 920-MHz radio design, each participant uses NI AWR software to design, build, and test the individual RF components in a single day, concluding with a full radio test of a transmitter and receiver.

RF/Microwave Skill Development 

NI AWR software is widely used by engineering students participating in school- and conference-sponsored design competitions. NI and Xidian University of Electronic Science and Technology in Beijing jointly held an RF/microwave circuit design competition in November 2018 in which over 116 teams with 2-3 students each participated. Free software training and support was provided during the competition to ensure the highest level of design success. Student comments regarding their experience reflect that they are more confident in their mastery of NI AWR software and will be more familiar with the design process in the future.

Student Competition

NI  is proud to support student design competitions throughout the world that help develop engineering competency while encouraging creativity and teamwork. For example, students from the University of Bristol, one of the most popular and successful universities in the UK, won the 2016 IMS High-Efficiency Power Amplifier Student Design Challenge using Microwave Office software. They developed an amplifier that maximized the overall power-added efficiency (PAE) while amplifying a time-varying envelope signal, without compromising the linearity performance.

Related customer stories

The combination of the integrated Microwave Office environment and accurate Cree device models enabled me to achieve a design in a matter of days that simulated to within a few percent of my measured output power and achieved greater than 85% PAE.
Michael Boers
Ph.D. Student
Macquarie University and Cree
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AWR software quickly and intuitively helps students to understand the correlation between real-world applications and the theories that they have learned in the classroom.
Dr. Elif Aydin
Associcate Professor
University of Atilim
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Microwave & RF students complete graduate-level simulation tasks with time to spare, leaving them ample time to design, tune and optimize circuit performance.
Dr. Francesco Fornetti
MEng PhD
University of Bristol
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