I've been trying out some of the various free schematic capture tools (gschem, Weblab and various others), but none of them are really what I'm after. Specifically, I'm looking for a reasonable spice GUI, suitable for nanometer IC design with a good waveform viewer. I've used Mentor Graphics' Eldo which isn't perfect, but it does the job. I assume it also costs a fair amount, although I can't find any prices on their website.
So does anyone have any recommendations for good, cheapish (or even free) schematic capture tools?
"steve" schrieb im Newsbeitrag news: firstname.lastname@example.org...
I wonder why you haven't heard of LTspice. It's free of charge and has similar features as the expensive packages. It also has a graphical schematic capture what HSPICE or ELDO don't have. LTspice is very compatible to PSPICE on the netlist level and it also recognizes the library syntax of HSPICE. LTspice is sometimes also named SwitcherCADIII. Many universities have now switched to LTspice in the education to give every student the chance of using SPICE at home too for their projects.
Here are examples for IC-design with LTspice based on a book about CMOS circuit design.
The download link for LTSpice. It's not necessary to register for the software.
There is also a user group.
Best regards, Helmut Moderator of the LTspice Yahoo group. I am not an employee of Linear Technology.
I think I'll jump in with a few advantages LTspice has over the others.
The design files are all stored as ASCII. This means that if you have multiple people working on something, you can e-mail the design without fear of anti-virus filters stripping the attachment.
Things are in a format that mere mortals can figure out. This makes it posible for people to write extra tools. For example, I wrote a kludge that lets me import frequency responces into a spreadsheet.
Some non-LTspice programs don't seem to be able to deal with circuits using the LT1498. I have investigated very deeply but I think the part has positive feedbacks inside that the folks at Linear had to find a way to deal with in the .OP.
You never have to "double click". My brain knows what a "double click" is but the fingers on my right hand and a PC never seem to agree on it so this matters to me.
It runs under Windoz and (using wine) Linux. This means you are not trapped into using Billyware on all the PCs that have to run it.
The schematic capture has a few good drawing tools that let you and arcs, lines, circles and boxes etc that have no electrical meaning. When working with someone in another part of the country, it is very handy to be able to put such things into schematics along with notes like "my quick model of how the motor works".
I had heard of LTspice actually, although when I tried it (using wine on linux), I had problems with the screen not redrawing properly, making it a bit fustrating to use - every time I add a new component, the new component box appears but is blank; I've got to drag it off-screen and then back on-screen to see the component list!
However, after reading the replies here which hold LTspice in high regard, I'll look into it again and see if I can work around/fix the problems I'm having with it.
I recommend to start with Windows(98SE, 2000 or XP) before you spend too much time to get it running with Wine under Linux, because I heard of some problems with specific versions of Wine. I have tried it some weeks ago with Suse10.1 and the most actual Wine at this time and it worked, but this was only for a test. It's a nice gift that the author of LTspice takes care that LTspice can be used with Wine, but he doesn't fix the bugs of Wine.
I have used it always with WINxxxx from MS, the native OS for LTspice.