Electronic Circuit Simulation

Electronic circuit simulation uses mathematical models to replicate the behavior of an actual electronic device or circuit. Simulation software allows for modeling of circuit operation and is an invaluable analysis tool. Due to its highly accurate modeling capability, many Colleges and Universities use this type of software for the teaching of electronics technician and electronics engineering programs. Electronics simulation software engages the user by integrating them into the learning experience. These kinds of interactions actively engage learners to analyze, synthesize, organize, and evaluate content and result in learners constructing their own knowledge.

Simulating a circuit’s behavior before actually building it can greatly improve design efficiency by making faulty designs known as such, and providing insight into the behavior of electronics circuit designs. In particular, for integrated circuits, the tooling (photomasks) is expensive, breadboards are impractical, and probing the behavior of internal signals is extremely difficult. Therefore almost all IC design relies heavily on simulation. The most well known analog simulator is SPICE. Probably the best known digital simulators are those based on Verilog and VHDL.

Some electronics simulators integrate a schematic editor, a simulation engine, and on-screen waveforms (see Figure 1), and make “what-if” scenarios easy and instant. They also typically contain extensive model and device libraries. These models typically include IC specific transistor models such as BSIM, generic components such as resistors, capacitors, inductors and transformers, user defined models (such as controlled current and voltage sources, or models in Verilog-A or VHDL-AMS). Printed circuit board (PCB) design requires specific models as well, such as transmission lines for the traces and IBIS models for driving and receiving electronics.

Read more about Electronic Circuit SimulationTypes, Complexities

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