Re: [SI-LIST] : Simulating Tools

MikonCons@aol.com
Thu, 12 Nov 1998 15:10:58 EST

Hi Adrian,

Your question is almost ubiquitous.... and there is no simple answer to it=
.
The tradeoffs of functionality and value versus cost are very subjective.
Perhaps the most important questions address how much time you have to tur=
n
out a high-confidence design and (very importantly) how often you will use=
the
program.

I am organizing a workshop on modeling and simulation for the IEEE Power
Electronics Society (PELS) to be presented 22 January 1999 in Sunnyvale, C=
A
(i.e., the Silicon Valley area). I am conducting a survey of simulators a=
nd
will address the features you have noted. Multiple simulator vendors will=
be
present at the workshop to demonstrate and answer questions on their softw=
are.

FYI, here is the current planning..... Note the goals I set.
*****************************
=93Practical Electronic Analog Circuit Modeling=94
Objective
-Identify readily available modeling and analysis tools for the design
engineer

Goals
-Gain knowledge of cost-effective tools; i.e., user friendly, immediately
productive, acceptably accurate.
-Achieve insight and higher productivity simultaneously with higher confid=
ence
in designs.
-Speed evaluation and documentation of alternate design concepts for bette=
r
business decisions.

Tentative Schedule
12:30-1:00 PM Registration
1:10 - 2:10 PM Modeling/Simulation Overview: Mike Conn,
2:10 - 3:10 PM PSPICE Talk: Brooks Leman,
3:10 - 3:30 PM Break
3:30- 4:00 PM Keeping simulations under Your control: Ron Lenk
4 PM to 6 PM Modeling of magnetic components for circuit =

simulation: Rudy Severns
Panel Q&A session
Closure, Networking, Demonstrations
Refreshments/Pizza and Soda
*****************************
To further answer your questions, the cost can run from $500 to $50,000 o=
r
more depending on whether you are after some specific tools or a suite of
tools that can do everything except brush your teeth. In spite of what ma=
y be
advertised, the more sophisticated tools have a wicked learning curve and
generally require full time use (for months!) for you to become confidentl=
y
proficient with them. Lay off for a month and lots of that proficiency dr=
ifts
away.

The models supplied with most simulators (even the high-priced spread) nee=
d to
be questioned. I have seen too many "stock" models supplied by vendors (s=
ome
touted as "proprietary") that were way off the mark; hence, some lab tests=
on
individual parts and/or subassemblies is generally warranted.

I hope this response helps.

Mike Conn
Owner/Principal Consulatnt
Mikon Consulting

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