Altair Acquires Powersim, Enhances its Power Electronics Solutions
With the acquisition, Altair rounds out its electronic motor design offerings and furthers its expansion into the power electronics space, where Powersim has long-served designers of power supplies, control systems, microgrids and more.
Altair, a Michigan-based multinational information technology company, provides software and cloud solutions for simulation, data analytics, the internet of things (IoT), high-performance computing, and artificial intelligence (AI).
On March 3, the company announced it had acquired Powersim, a specialist in the provision of simulation and design tools for power electronics. Altair intends to expand its design portfolio via the addition of Powersim’s PSIM simulation software, its flagship offering for optimizing power electronics design, particularly that of motor drives and power supplies. The company will integrate the software into its own Electronic System Design suite.
PSIM, In Depth
Powerism’s PSIM simulation environment can be applied to power converters, motor drives, batteries, photovoltaics, wind power, and more. For power supply, system designers must take into account several variables including converter requirements, magnetics, topologies, advancements in switches, and control techniques. With PSIM, designers can evaluate multiple topologies and converter operation characteristics, such as the operating envelope.
PSIM's Thermal Module, where users can asses switches' switching and conduction losses. Image used courtesy of Powersim
Utilizing the software, designers can conduct worst-case and Monte Carlo analyses, in addition to sensitivity and fault analysis. Users can also assess switching speed, including its impact on magnetics and capacitor sizing, component stresses and losses, and electromagnetic interference (EMI). In addition, designers can modify EMI design and operation, as well as control implementation.
“Powersim has established a powerful solution that has proven to reduce development costs and time-to-market for thousands of customers around the globe including major companies in the automotive, aerospace, consumer electronics, and industrial applications sectors,” said James Scapa, Altair’s founder and chief executive officer.
For its part, Powersim will look to utilize Altair’s reach to further expand the use of its technologies, said Dr. Hua Jin, the company’s president and founder.
“We are proud to have created a technology that has become a known brand in the market and leads the way in power electronics and motor drive simulation,” Jin said.
Altair’s Electronic System Design Suite
Altair’s Electronic System Design suite offers customers a wide range of tools and solutions for model-based embedded system firmware development, in addition to the design of motors, sensors, actuators, and wireless charging.
Such offerings include Altair Flux and Altair FluxMotor, which Altair views as strongly connected to PSIM. Both tools are intended specifically for motor and controller design, and leverage Altair’s Activate and PollEx Spice solutions for device, circuit, and system-level simulations.
Altair's FluxMotor software, with which designers can optimize cooling strategies. Image used courtesy of Altair
With the suite, customers can also conduct performance analyses of complex assemblies under real-world conditions. Other suite offerings enable EDA job-scheduling optimization, dependency analysis, input/output (I/O) profiling, as well as live system telemetry and I/O monitoring.
Once integrated into the suite, Altair will make PSIM available through Altair Units, the company’s unit-based subscription model.