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Simulator of choice?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by Vladimir Vassilevsky, Dec 7, 2007.

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  1. Hello All,

    What would be your schematic simulator of choice?
    I have used several simulators, however neither of those were perfect for
    the mixed signal work. It is not good when you have to spend hours tweaking
    the spice simulation settings and then even more hours waiting for the
    result. It would be nice to export/import the data to/from a spreadsheet. A
    user friendly and easy to use would be a plus, too.
    So, what would you recommend?

    VLV
     
  2. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest


    LT Spice.

    John
     
  3. D from BC

    D from BC Guest

    Damn...I should have placed a bet on LTSpice popping up first.

    I've dropped...
    Mulitsim (The new Electronics Workbench)
    Electronics Workbench
    Orcad
    Circuitmaker 2000
    Protel
    Microcap

    to use LTSpice. But that's just me.

    I found the collaboration features in the bigger packages interferred
    with a quick learning curve for the lone designer.

    I have to say..I'm sick and tired of learning simulators :p


    D from BC
     
  4. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Crap, and unethical crap to boot.
    Circuitmaker is pretty good, but LT is free and better.


    John
     
  5. Damir

    Damir Guest

    LTspice.
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/LTspice/
     
  6. I looked at LTSPice several years ago. It seemed rather primitive to me,
    however I may be wrong. Also, they are probably ahead by many versions
    now. What is good/bad about LTSpice?

    Any alternatives to LTSpice?

    VLV
     
  7. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    Well, I don't sim extremely sophisticated stuff, but...

    1. The computing kernal has be written for speed, especially for
    switching regulators, which need to sim long time intervals with short
    time steps.

    2. All the LTC device models are available.

    3. It's easy to use and doesn't crash.

    4. It's free, but support is good.

    5. The sim schematic/parameters are stored as an ascii file, which can
    even be posted here, in a non-binary ng.

    6. There aren't any extra-cost options or any dongles or any of that
    nonsense.

    7. The schematics and graphs look good.

    John
     
  8. JeffM

    JeffM Guest

    7. The schematics and graphs look good.

    8. Mike makes sure it works under WINE as well
    so the Linux folks aren't left out in the cold.
     
  9. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Unfortunately I find the graphical capabilities in the output not up
    to the level I need to show my clients, otherwise I'd be a user.

    By popular demand ;-), I'm becoming a multi-simulator person... now
    using Cadence Virtuoso/Composer, soon will also be using SMASH and
    SPE, and a sales person peddling SLED is visiting on December 13.

    ...Jim Thompson
     
  10. Winfield

    Winfield Guest

    I'm a solid user of Intusoft's spice. I'm interested in
    a spice engine that's thoroughly up to date, including
    Georgia Tech's XSpice extension, etc., and other critical
    advanced features, such as individual temperatures for
    each part, analog, mixed-signal and digital simulation,
    nested component sweeps, Monte Carlo statistical analysis,
    worst-case and extreme-value analysis, script languages,
    etc. Many modern spice products include most of these
    features, although I think many are missing from LTspice.

    I agree, no dongles. I want a very good parts library;
    Intusoft's 23,000 parts is a good start. Next, I want
    an easy intuitive and capable schematic-entry program,
    and a powerful yet attractive output-plotting program.

    Finally, in both cases I want publication-ready output
    capabilities. That's an area in which Intusoft shines.
    It's easy to create detailed analysis documents in Word
    or Open Office, and with their vector figures, export
    them to Illustrator for high-quality publication editing.

    They do have a free version, which supports most of the
    capabilities mentioned, except Monte Carlo analysis, etc.
    It has a modest library (although you can make unlimited
    additions to it). It does have a rather severe component
    limitation. I often model just a small part of my circuit,
    and for those cases could accept the free program's limit.
     
  11. Hello all,

    I wouldn't overestimate X-SPICE. It never has become a
    standard. Nearly every SPICE has different device primitives
    if it comes to digital devices. LTspice has very efficient
    digital and mixed signal device primitives (A,B-devices).
    It's all in LTspice except the IBIS-translator.

    An IBIS-translator is useful for signal integrity
    simulations of PCB-boards. Therefore also special
    models for coupled tranmission lines should be
    available. Some SPICEs have this IBIS-translator,
    but definetively lack good device models for coupled
    transmission lines. HSPICE, ELDO, ADS and some others
    have IBIS-translators and good models for coupled
    transmission lines.
    There are some basic functions mc() for MonteCarlo. It's
    not as much as I have seen in some other SPICE programs.
    Can be done with a little bit effort.

    LTspice has a powerful stepping of parameters/values.
    LTspice has the powerful .MEASURE commands as you
    have in some very expensive commercial SPICEs like HSPICE.
    OK, maybe some feature requires a little bit more
    effort to get the same functionality.

    LTspice can be run in batch mode for optimization tasks.
    The parts library is indeed a plus if you buy a SPICE.

    In LTspice, I have to search for it on the
    manufacturers web pages. On the other hand, LTspice
    is so compatible to PSPICE, that nearly every of
    the downloaded models is working out of the box
    in LTspice.
    LTspice can export wmf-files of schematics and waveforms.

    The simulation output data can be exported into
    a file for further processing by external programs.
    I have never seriously used demo versions since
    the advent of LTspice about 6 years ago.


    Best regards,
    Helmut

    PS: I am not an employee of LTC.

    The LTspice user group
    I am one of the moderators of this group.
    http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/LTspice/


    LTspice program
    http://www.linear.com/designtools/software/switchercad.jsp

    LTspice manual
    http://ltspice.linear.com/software/scad3.pdf

    LTspice features live.
    Just unzip this file into an empty folder.
    Then view the PowerPoint document in this zip-file
    to see all the features of LTpice.
    http://ltspice.linear-tech.com/software/handout.zip
     
  12. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    We just yesterday designed two Cuk (well, one of them is Cuk-like)
    dc/dc converters. Both accept +12 volts and one delivers +5 to +15,
    and the other -5 to -15, so we can power various opamps on different
    versions of a board. LT Spice did it in a flash. We started from one
    of their reference designs, so most of the parts were already in
    place, so we had minimal work to rearrange connections and values, and
    tweak the loops. So they sold us some parts.

    After struggling with nasty issues on a dual-output flyback (leakage
    inductance snubbing, chip breakdown voltage, cross-regulation, custom
    magnetics) the separate switchers were a pleasure to whip out.

    The LTC regional manager and local sales rep have called on us a
    couple of times recently (and we're a very small operation) and have
    been very helpful. Unlike Maxim, you can actually get their parts.


    John
     
  13. I am using Tina , a download freebie obtained through TI.

    Several upgrades are available, starting at $50 , if I remeber correctly.
    On the free version, you get the TI + BB models plus some generics,
    and may add libraries and edit models on the upgraded versions.

    Jure Z.
     
  14. qrk

    qrk Guest

    On Sat, 08 Dec 2007 09:08:28 -0800, John Larkin

    [snippage]
    I read somewhere that a significant portion of LTC's business is from
    smaller firms. They have great support with their roving applications
    folks and sampling policies, even for small-change companies like
    ours.
     

  15. I am using Tina , a download freebie obtained through TI.

    Several upgrades are available, starting at $50 , if I remeber correctly.
    On the free version, you get the TI + BB models plus some generics,
    and may add libraries and edit models on the upgraded versions.

    Jure Z.
     
  16. Guy Macon

    Guy Macon Guest

    With careful thought and planning, this can really help in
    the design process.
     
  17. JosephKK

    JosephKK Guest

    John Larkin posted to
    sci.electronics.design:
    Having tried multisim before this "acquisition" no wonder it is bad.
    BTW why the unethical? EWB used to be OK.
     
  18. JosephKK

    JosephKK Guest

    Jim Thompson posted to
    sci.electronics.design:
    If that is the SLED i suspect it is it will include gEDA and friends
    (GAF) as an optional install.
     
  19. JosephKK

    JosephKK Guest

    Winfield posted to sci.electronics.design:
    Is that a free schematic editor type spice (ICAP) or just barefoot
    spice?

    I have an old, old, DOS version (just spice).
     
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