New Magnetics Designer Adds Sector Winding and Field Simulation Features

    San Pedro, CA (September 1, 1999) — Intusoft has released a new version of its popular transformer and inductor design program, Magnetics Designer. The new version represents a significant breakthrough in terms of performance and features. Major enhancements include the ability to handle sector-winding configurations for high voltage designs and a new “Bobbin tab,” which allows the user to see a picture of the core and winding structure. New field solution algorithms produce magnetic field maps that describe the magnetic field in the winding stack. The field solutions provide more accurate calculation of the copper losses. According to Intusoft president, Larry Meares, “The fact that the program synthesizes the design using multi-parameter optimization and includes field simulation makes it a very productive tool for power supply designers. The product is really unmatched at any price level.”

An expanded winding screen gives the user more per winding information such as current density, winding weight, IR drop, and copper loss. Silver and aluminum wire types are now supported. The core database contains more than 7,000 cores, and includes new “sanity” checks that help users enter the correct set of core geometry and material data. Toroid calculations have also been dramatically improved.

Program Overview
Magnetics Designer is a software program that designs and synthesizes all types of transformers and inductors. Typical design applications include high frequency switching regulator transformers and output chokes for off-line full-wave and forward converters, 60 Hz single-phase line transformers, AC inductors, planar magnetics, and 400 Hz aircraft transformers. Virtually any single phase, layer- or sector-wound inductor or transformer, from 10Hz to over 5MHz, can be synthesized with Magnetics Designer. Magnetics Designer is different than other FEA-based analysis tools. It actually selects the core geometry and synthesizes the winding structure for the user, making them dramatically more productive. The user does not have to draw anything or specify any physical design characteristics other than the type of core family and material he wants to use.

Magnetics Designer produces a complete transformer or inductor design based upon electrical specifications including a winding sheet report and a SPICE-compatible model with parasitics. A database with thousands of cores and a wide variety of materials and wire is included. In addition, you can add your own cores, wire, and material information using a supplied Excel©; spreadsheet. Core vendors such as TDK, Magnetics, Philips, Thomson, Micrometals, Siemens, Kaschke, Ferrite International, VAC, and Fair-Rite are represented. You can use formvar, square or double square magnet wire, Litz wire, pcb traces, or foil.

Magnetics Designer selects the appropriate core, number of turns, and wire sizes to minimize the total power dissipation for a given temperature rise in the smallest possible core. Winding loss, skin effect, proximity effect, current density and flux distribution are all taken into account. The program predicts magnetizing and leakage inductance, inter-winding capacitance, peak flux density, DC winding resistance, high frequency AC resistance, copper loss (both AC and DC), core loss, weight, temperature rise, layer fill, and window fill percentage.

Since the multi-parameter optimization algorithms are fast, the user can compare designs quickly and easily. The user can change over 20 design parameters such as allowed temperature rise, allowed window fill, number of turns, wire gauge and type, bobbin margins, number of parallel strands, gap length, layer insulation thickness, wrapper thickness, and end margin lengths. The program allows the user to split, move, and interleave windings and set variable size sectors. Magnetics Designer is priced at $2875.00 which includes a year’s worth of maintenance. More information and a demonstration version of Magnetics Designer are available on Intusoft’s Web Site at

What Makes Magnetics Designer Unique
Magnetics Designer performs synthesis as well as analysis of transformers and inductors. Classical design methods rely on home-grown software programs that are patched together, or “build and test” iterations that are exercised until the appropriate behavior of the prototype component is achieved. Magnetics Designer eliminates these costly design methodologies by accurately synthesizing the magnetic structure and analyzing the resulting behavior. The process includes the effects of frequency, geometry and material. The magnetic behavior obtained is output directly to a winding sheet and an electric circuit (SPICE) model so the device can be manufactured and simulated. Applications include high power transformers for aerospace and industrial power levels, subminiature planar magnetics and general switched mode power supply design.

Magnetics Designer achieves significant gains in productivity by combining advanced 1D analytical algorithms and 3D magnetic field analysis techniques in a single, easy to use software tool. Initially, multi-parameter optimizations are employed to handle the design variable trade-offs (about 10,000-20,000 optimization passes per design). Finite element calculations are performed after the speedier analytical optimization algorithms.

Tools using FEA as the primary solution path can’t perform the design variable trade-offs efficiently due to long run time constraints. Thus, the user is forced to choose the specific core geometry and winding structure himself. This is a major drawback. Magnetics Designer, on the other hand, does this for the user.

Two features make Magnetics Designer unique. The first is the ability to actually synthesize a winding structure without user interaction and the second is the interactive nature of the synthesis process combined with fast multi-parameter optimization. The addition of an FEA solution at the back end of the optimization sequence makes Magnetics Designer even more accurate.

The result is a tool that generates an optimized magnetic design with accurate calculations of all key performance characteristics from a simple list of electrical, mechanical, and thermal specifications. Designers are able to consider various geometry, material and winding strategies without actually building the component, thereby ensuring a low cost, efficient design.

About Intusoft
Established in 1985, Intusoft designs, develops and markets software applications and tools for analog and mixed-signal circuit design, analysis and test automation to electronics industries worldwide. More information on Intusoft and its products is available on the company’s web site at


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