3 Replies Latest reply on Sep 24, 2008 2:06 PM by Daniel_Payne

    Best SPICE simulator Characteristics: What are they?



      I have created a Blog defining the characteristics of the Best SPICE PCB functional simulator from my perspective.


      This discussion thread is intended to provide you with a forum to express your opinions on covering the Characteristics which form the Best SPICE based PCB Functional simulator.  Fell free to disagree with me or extend the characteristics I have offered.


      While it would be best to avoid making simple statements like "Simulator XYZ is Best" I won't moderate out your product specific comments if you supply a foundation in terms of characteristics. 






        • 1. Re: Best SPICE simulator Characteristics: What are they?

          Hi Dave,


          Some times the simple things make a big difference.




          Fully Valid Symbols : Where a Spice PGM shares  a SCH front end with PCB, then a filter & preview for  [ValidSymbol  AND (ValidModel OR ValidModelMapped)) means you KNOW you wil get a usable Spice item loaded !!.



          Such Items, of course should be Attribute-ready, and  NOT have empty or missing-from-manager Fields 




          Smart Filters : Good library wild card/substring name filters, can  make a big difference to ease of use. Prefixes and Suffixes can be clutter. A Device Progammer we have, uses a nice sorting method, of 'Chars in Matching order' but can skipso '7474' in the part field,  will find all of 74AC74 74ACT74  SN74LV74  etc (but not 74HC47)




          Single File Portability: The Better Spice systems save the whole design into a Single File, for easy emailing/sharing. and a safe Load-in-6-monthsrevision pathway. Splintered files/libraries are a bad idea.




          Version Migration: Support across SW versions is also important, and there, Closed Binary formats are NOT a good idea, for many reasons:




          Crashes are more fatal, and Version control is much more difficult.




          Easy File Access:  Underpinning Spice, are the command and netlist files, these should ALL be ASCII and able to 'open in External Text Editor',from the Project manager. Just like the listing and report files in other design flows, these files provide the 'audit trail' forchecking 'all your ducks are in a row', and give a 'between spices' pathway as well.




          Plotting : The Better result-export packages I have seen will Plot to PDF in higher resolution, and using  PDF Layers - that makes result-sharing truly portable

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          • 2. Re: Best SPICE simulator Characteristics: What are they?

            Howdy Jim,


            Excellent Post!!


            I agree with you that the ability to manage and share all of the design files associated with PCB functional simulation are critical characteristics of the Best PCB SPICE based functional simulation solution.


            Fully validated Symbols? Absolutely required  We don't need to spend any time second guessing or debugging our design only to learn that the symbol out of the library was faulty.


            Smart Filters? I like the idea but being an old hack myself I like the power and control of wild card symbols. I now think the Best solution would support both forms!


            Crashes?  It's impossible, in my book, to be the Best SPICE simulator if you are plagued by crashes! Product stability is certainly a critical foundation characteristic to be the Best.


            For everyone else, Join the fun and express your opinions and insights into what makes the Best SPICE simulator.

            • 3. Re: Best SPICE simulator Characteristics: What are they?



              How about adding the decision on when to use:



              • SPICE

              • Analog FastSPICE

              • FastSPICE

              • Hierarchical FastSPICE



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