[SI-LIST] : SI Simulation Tools Reference

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From: Chen, David (dchen@corvis.com)
Date: Fri Dec 01 2000 - 12:14:45 PST


Does anyone know of a reference, magazine article, paper, that describes
enough of a range of SI tools' features so that one can be selected? I have
seen mentioned in this reflector: Hyperlynx, LINPAR, HSPICE, XNK, etc.
Apparently, each addresses various frequency ranges more effectively than
others, and various parameters more than others, with varying accuracies,
and wide price differences. I haven't found advertisements to be of much use
since they all claim to do everything you need.

I am working with up to 3 Gbps differential signals and wondered which tools
would provide answers to how to constrain a PCB design in order to get good
signal transmission. In general, I would think a reference like this would
help others working with different (high) frequencies, materials, and other
applications, especially since this type of work seems to be increasing.

Interesting comparisons between the tools would be: accuracy in various
frequency ranges, cost, ease of use, etc. The "accuracy" property does
depend on what the engineer is trying to do, I suppose, and various
shortcuts are probably taken by each tool. In reading between the lines of
this reflector, I see that there are some that like a tool because it
performs wonderfully in their application, and others that dislike the same
tool because it is inaccurate for some unknown reason. At what point
(frequency, transmission distance, or other parameter?) do these unknowns
cause major problems? Someone knows what these unknowns are, but they aren't
watching this reflector.

Thanks for any replies,
  Dave Chen

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