Wcalc is a tool for the analysis and synthesis of transmission line structures and
related components. Wcalc provides the ability to analyze the electrical parameters
of a particular structure based on the physical dimensions and material parameters.
The synthesis portion calculates the required physical parameters to meet desired
electrical specifications. Wcalc includes several models and places an emphasis on
accuracy. Several frontends provide the user with several options for its use.
Work on Wcalc was started in 1997 as part of a RF and microwave
filter design toolkit. During the initial work on that program
(no the filter toolkit is not currently available), it quickly
became apparent that
an essential piece of that tool was a microstrip transmission line
synthesis routine. Considerable time was spent researching the
available approximations for microstrip analysis with the goal of
implementing the most accurate approximations. The result of that
tool is still available under the name mcalc.
Some of the lessons learned when writing mcalc are: I don't like
least I didn't in 1997, now in 2009 that is no longer an issue),
and sometimes the simple calculator based frontend to the
numerical routines is simply not enough. These considerations led
to the decision to create a tool with the flexibility to support
several frontends in a way that makes the addition of new models
At this time, Wcalc includes 6 frontends to the numerical
routines. A CGI interface provides a simple way to provide, for
example, company-wide access to the calculators via an intranet.
The GTK+ based graphical user
interface is the standard standalone version of Wcalc. Through
the mex interface, users can use
Matlab for a high
powered programming interface to Wcalc. Finally, a minimal
standard input/output interface provides a means for interfacing
to 3rd party tools which support inter-process communication