Circuit simulation software

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What are today's choices in circuit simulation software?

Multisim is very good, but expensive, and it won't run unless you either log
in as administrator or give all users write access to its directory in
Program Files (which it doesn't do for itself when you install it).  What's
more, it goes into an endless loop if you don't do this; you press "Cancel"
and get the same message and the same invitation to cancel, over and over.
I've just been trying out their free trial version, which is good for 45
days and appears to be excellent apart from the file-permissions problem.

Is there anything out there that is cheap and useful?



Re: Circuit simulation software


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mc,

Linear Technology Corporation's LT-Spice, (aka SwitcherCADIII), a free
download from http://www.linear.com , is excellent.

And there's a superb users' group, at http://www.yahoogroups.com .

Regards,

Tom Gootee

http://www.fullnet.com/u/tomg

--------------------------------------------


Re: Circuit simulation software


On Mon, 15 May 2006 20:16:45 -0400, "mc"

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The Multisim people are, well, not perfectly ethical. LT Spice is
excellent and free.

John


Re: Circuit simulation software



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There is a free limited version of Tina on the Texas Instruments website
http://focus.ti.com/docs/toolsw/folders/print/tina-ti.html, or you can get
a demo or low priced full versions at www.tina.com. I have been fairly
satisfied with it but have not used it a lot.

Paul E. Schoen



Re: Circuit simulation software


On Mon, 15 May 2006 20:16:45 -0400, "mc"

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LTSpice

- YD.

--
Remove HAT if replying by mail.

Re: Circuit simulation software


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Thanks; I'll try that.  I'm also trying the OrCAD demo edition, which seems
to be powerful but an order of magnitude harder to get started with than
Multisim.



Re: Circuit simulation software



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You might also want to look at Spectrum Software's MicroCap 8. The demo has
no time limit and handles up to 50 nodes. This is more than enough for most
SPICE analysis work. MicroCap is much easier to learn and to use than other
programs, and has far better graphical analysis. This is where you really
need their advanced features and ease of use in order to see what your
circuit is doing.

It pays to take your time evaluating as many different SPICE programs as
possible. After you get started and have several months or years of working
analysis files on your hard disk, you may find it difficult to switch to
another program.

You can download MC8 for free. Just give them an email address and they
will send you the download location. Here's the url:

http://www.spectrum-soft.com/index.shtm

Regards,

Mike Monett
 

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Many thanks!

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Re: Circuit simulation software



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And there is always gEDA:  www.geda.seul.org/

--
JosephKK
Gegen dummheit kampfen die Gotter Selbst, vergebens.  
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Re: Circuit simulation software



mc wrote:
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Getting anything usefull from a simulator is usually much harder than
building the circuit and mearuring its performance.


Re: Circuit simulation software



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Interesting. You must have some very expensive test gear then. For the rest
of us, simulation is a good tool.

Ian

Re: Circuit simulation software



Ian Bell wrote:
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Are you saying that you never build the circuits you design? Or if you
do then you dont test them to ensure they work the same as the
simulation? The reality is that you still need to build and you still
need the test gear even if you simulate first, so it saves you nothing.


Re: Circuit simulation software


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Once you've gone through the learning curve, it can save you the time of
unbuilding circuits that you've built but don't do what you want them to
do. :-)

Cheers!
Rich


Re: Circuit simulation software



well, I don't know who this originated from or by how so..

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Oh dear...

You've not designed an analogue ic with 10,000 transistors have you?

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Ho hum...Its not unusual for complex, high transistor count designs to
work first time.

How do you propose to do worst case corners or Monty Carlo to verify
that your rats nest custom tweaked, one off circuit actually works with
component variations?

You simply can not design analogue i.c.s without extensive simulation.
Ideally, bench work is kept to a bare minimum. Typically, analogue ics
are so well designed using only simulation that bench work often
consists of simply verifying a few bits and bobs and making the data
sheet. This is way it is.

Kevin Aylward B.Sc.
snipped-for-privacy@anasoft.co.uk
http://www.anasoft.co.uk
SuperSpice, a very affordable Mixed-Mode
Windows Simulator with Schematic Capture,
Waveform Display, FFT's and Filter Design.

"There are none more ignorant and useless,than they that seek answers
on their knees, with their eyes closed"



Re: Circuit simulation software



Kevin Aylward wrote:
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Your right I haven't, which 1 did you do? Has anyone ever done it with
"super spice" ?

This thread has nothing to do with chip design.



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No reason why to cant simulate a curcuit after you have it working if
you needed that information but the components with the biggest
variation are semiconductors and iv'e not seem a Monty Carlo test that
included their variables but it's been a while so maybe.

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Again this thread has nothing to do with chip design.
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Re: Circuit simulation software



[snip]

You are a rank amateur with NO real experience using simulators.

And you probably consider yourself to be an engineer, but you're NOT
;-)

                                        ...Jim Thompson
--
|  James E.Thompson, P.E.                           |    mens     |
|  Analog Innovations, Inc.                         |     et      |
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Re: Circuit simulation software



Jim Thompson wrote:
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Ive had them for 20+years, I dont use them much because they dont help
me any for the work I do, they may help you I wouldnt know.
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How would you know?

Sounds like the rantings of someone who's lost the arguement. Dont
stamp your foot down too hard at your age.

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"Getting anything usefull from a simulator is usually much harder
than building the circuit and mearuring its performance" ranks right
up there with most stupid statement of the year (even after ignoring
the illiterate spellings).

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I didn't know there WAS an argument.

                                        ...Jim Thompson
--
|  James E.Thompson, P.E.                           |    mens     |
|  Analog Innovations, Inc.                         |     et      |
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Circuit simulation software


Use-The-Envelope-Icon@My-Web-Site.com says...
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Hell, if (logic) simulators had never been invented, I'd be out of
a job!  ;-)  OTOH...

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When one side declares absolute stupidity...

--
  Keith

Re: Circuit simulation software


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I am working on one right now. Quite impossible without simulation.

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To be fair, SS is not really designed for circuits that large. It will
simulate them, but its not really up to speed for that size of a job.
However, it has been used extensively for ic building blocks.

For the above larger job I am using Cadence/Spectre.

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Its to do with analogue design. IC design is being illustrated to show
just how daft the idea that:

"getting anything usefull from a simulator is usually much harder han
building the circuit and mearuring its performance."

is.

With all due respect to the writer, the writer of that statement has
very limited knowledge of professional analogue design.


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Again, with all due respect, all this shows is that you are quite
ignorant of 10,000s professional analogue designers and the tools such
designers use on a daily basis. Monty carlo and worst case simulations
are de-facto standard to produce a reliable product in short time
scales. Many tools have specific support for these features.

This debate is pretty much futile as its unlikely you will be able to
take your blinkers off and accept what is actually known and done by
10,000s of professional analogue designers. Its 40 hours a week running
sims. That's just the way it is, mate.

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Its about analogue design, and as such, for anything other than a micky
mouse 2 transister circuit, simulation tools are, in todays market
place, indespensible.


Kevin Aylward B.Sc.
snipped-for-privacy@anasoft.co.uk
http://www.anasoft.co.uk
SuperSpice, a very affordable Mixed-Mode
Windows Simulator with Schematic Capture,
Waveform Display, FFT's and Filter Design.

"There are none more ignorant and useless,than they that seek answers
on their knees, with their eyes closed"



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