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Rodion Karpov
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HSPICE Netlist Creation and Editing Tips and Tricks


What is HSPICE and why do you need it?




If you are an electronic engineer, a student, or a hobbyist who wants to design, test, and optimize circuits, you may have heard of or used a tool called HSPICE. But what exactly is HSPICE, and why do you need it? In this article, we will answer these questions and show you how to install and run hspice.vH-2013.03-SP2.win.setup, which is a file name for a software installation package of HSPICE for Windows. We will also show you how to use HSPICE for circuit simulation and analysis, and how to troubleshoot common errors and issues in HSPICE.




hspice.vH-2013.03-SP2.win.setup


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HSPICE: A brief introduction




HSPICE is a circuit simulation tool that allows you to model the behavior and performance of analog, digital, mixed-signal, and radio frequency circuits. It can handle complex circuits with millions of components, such as transistors, resistors, capacitors, diodes, inductors, switches, logic gates, memory cells, etc. It can also simulate the effects of parasitics, temperature, noise, process variations, and other factors on the circuit operation.


HSPICE was developed by Meta Software Corporation in 1978 as an enhanced version of SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis), which was originally created by UC Berkeley in 1973. Since then, HSPICE has been widely adopted by the semiconductor industry as a standard tool for circuit design verification and optimization. It is currently owned and maintained by Synopsys Inc., which acquired Meta Software Corporation in 1997.


The features and benefits of HSPICE




HSPICE has many features and benefits that make it a powerful and reliable tool for circuit simulation. Some of them are:


  • Accuracy: HSPICE uses advanced numerical methods and algorithms to solve the circuit equations with high precision and accuracy. It also supports various device models that accurately capture the physical characteristics and behaviors of different types of components.



  • Speed: HSPICE can simulate large-scale circuits with millions of components in a reasonable amount of time. It also supports parallel processing and distributed computing to speed up the simulation process.



  • Versatility: HSPICE can simulate various types of circuits, such as analog, digital, mixed-signal, and radio frequency circuits. It can also perform various types of analysis, such as DC analysis, AC analysis, transient analysis, noise analysis, sensitivity analysis, Monte Carlo analysis, etc.



Compatibility: HSPICE can read and write netlists in various formats, such as SPICE2G6, SPICE3F5, Spectre, Eldo, etc. It can also interface with other tools for schematic capture, layout design, waveform viewing, The applications and examples of HSPICE




HSPICE can be used for various applications and purposes in the field of electronic engineering. Some of them are:


  • Circuit design verification: HSPICE can be used to verify the functionality and performance of a circuit design before it is fabricated. It can also be used to compare different design alternatives and optimize the circuit parameters.



  • Circuit characterization: HSPICE can be used to characterize the electrical properties and behaviors of a circuit or a device. It can also be used to generate data sheets, specifications, and models for the circuit or device.



  • Circuit debugging: HSPICE can be used to debug and troubleshoot a circuit that does not work as expected. It can also be used to identify and isolate the sources of errors and faults in the circuit.



  • Circuit simulation education: HSPICE can be used as a teaching and learning tool for circuit simulation. It can also be used to demonstrate and illustrate various concepts and principles of circuit theory and analysis.



Some examples of circuits that can be simulated and analyzed by HSPICE are:


  • Amplifiers: HSPICE can simulate the gain, bandwidth, distortion, noise, stability, and other characteristics of different types of amplifiers, such as operational amplifiers, differential amplifiers, power amplifiers, etc.



  • Oscillators: HSPICE can simulate the frequency, phase, amplitude, waveform, and other properties of different types of oscillators, such as LC oscillators, crystal oscillators, relaxation oscillators, etc.



  • Filters: HSPICE can simulate the frequency response, phase response, attenuation, ripple, group delay, and other parameters of different types of filters, such as low-pass filters, high-pass filters, band-pass filters, notch filters, etc.



  • Logic circuits: HSPICE can simulate the logic levels, timing, power consumption, propagation delay, fan-out, noise margin, and other aspects of different types of logic circuits, such as combinational logic circuits, sequential logic circuits, memory circuits, etc.



  • Analog-to-digital converters (ADCs): HSPICE can simulate the resolution, accuracy, speed, linearity, noise, dithering, and other characteristics of different types of ADCs, such as flash ADCs, successive approximation ADCs, sigma-delta ADCs, etc.



  • Digital-to-analog converters (DACs): HSPICE can simulate the resolution, accuracy, speed, linearity, noise, distortion, and other features of different types of DACs, such as binary-weighted DACs, R-2R ladder DACs, current-steering DACs, etc.



How to install and run HSPICE on Windows




If you want to use HSPICE on your Windows computer, you need to download and install hspice.vH-2013.03-SP2.win.setup, which is a file name for a software installation package of HSPICE for Windows. This package includes the HSPICE simulator, the WaveView Analyzer tool for viewing and analyzing waveforms, and the HSPICE documentation. In this section, we will show you how to install and run HSPICE on Windows.


The system requirements and prerequisites for HSPICE




Before you install HSPICE on your Windows computer, you need to make sure that your system meets the following requirements and prerequisites:


  • Operating system: Windows XP (32-bit or 64-bit), Windows Vista (32-bit or 64-bit), Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit), or Windows 8 (32-bit or 64-bit).



  • Processor: Intel Pentium 4 or higher, or AMD Athlon 64 or higher.



  • Memory: At least 1 GB of RAM.



  • Disk space: At least 2 GB of free disk space.



  • Display: At least 1024 x 768 resolution with 256 colors.



  • License: A valid license file from Synopsys Inc. You can obtain a license file by contacting Synopsys Inc. or by visiting their website at https://www.synopsys.com/verification/ams-verification/hspice.html.



The steps to download and install hspice.vH-2013.03-SP2.win.setup




After you have checked the system requirements and prerequisites for HSPICE, you can follow these steps to download and install hspice.vH-2013.03-SP2.win.setup:


  • Download hspice.vH-2013.03-SP2.win.setup: You can download hspice.vH-2013.03-SP2.win.setup from the Synopsys website at https://www.synopsys.com/support/training/ams/hspice.html. You need to register and log in to access the download link. The file size is about 1.5 GB.



  • Run hspice.vH-2013.03-SP2.win.setup: After you have downloaded hspice.vH-2013.03-SP2.win.setup, you can run it by double-clicking on it or by right-clicking on it and selecting "Run as administrator". You will see a welcome screen that asks you to choose the language for the installation. Choose your preferred language and click "OK".



  • Follow the installation wizard: After you have chosen the language for the installation, you will see an installation wizard that guides you through the installation process. You need to accept the license agreement, choose the destination folder, select the components to install, and confirm the installation settings. The installation may take several minutes to complete.



  • Copy the license file: After the installation is finished, you need to copy the license file that you obtained from Synopsys Inc. to the folder where you installed HSPICE. The default folder is C:\Synopsys\Hspice_vH-2013.03-SP2_win32\bin.



  • Restart your computer: After you have copied the license file, you need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.



The steps to run HSPICE and use WaveView Analyzer




After you have installed HSPICE on your Windows computer, you can follow these steps to run HSPICE and use WaveView Analyzer:


  • Create a netlist file: A netlist file is a text file that describes the circuit components and connections in a format that HSPICE can understand and simulate. You can create a netlist file using any text editor, such as Notepad, or using a schematic capture tool, such as OrCAD Capture. A netlist file usually has a .sp extension, such as example.sp. A netlist file consists of four parts: title, component statements, analysis statements, and output statements. For example, a netlist file for a simple RC circuit can look like this: * RC circuit example V1 1 0 DC 5V * voltage source R1 1 2 1K * resistor C1 2 0 1uF * capacitor .TRAN 0.01m 10m * transient analysis .PRINT V(2) * print voltage at node 2 .END * end of netlist Run HSPICE: To run HSPICE, you need to open a command prompt window and navigate to the folder where you saved your netlist file. Then, you need to type the following command: hspice example.sp This will run HSPICE and simulate the circuit described in the example.sp file. HSPICE will generate several output files, such as example.lis (listing file), example.tr0 (transient output file), example.ic0 (initial condition file), etc.



  • Use WaveView Analyzer: To use WaveView Analyzer, you need to open the WaveView Analyzer tool from the Start menu or from the folder where you installed HSPICE. Then, you need to open the output file that you want to view and analyze, such as example.tr0. You will see a graphical user interface that allows you to plot and manipulate the waveforms of the circuit variables, such as voltages and currents. You can also use various tools and functions to zoom, measure, annotate, compare, export, and print the waveforms.



How to use HSPICE for circuit simulation and analysis




Now that you know how to install and run HSPICE on Windows, you may wonder how to use HSPICE for circuit simulation and analysis. In this section, we will show you some basics of creating and editing netlists in HSPICE, performing different types of analysis in HSPICE, and plotting and interpreting results in WaveView Analyzer.


The basics of creating and editing netlists in HSPICE




As we mentioned before, a netlist file is a text file that describes the circuit components and connections in a format that HSPICE can understand and simulate. A netlist file consists of four parts: title, component statements, analysis statements, and output statements. Here are some basics of creating and editing netlists in HSPICE:


  • Title: The title is the first line of the netlist file. It starts with an asterisk (*) followed by a comment that describes the circuit or the simulation. The title is optional but recommended for clarity.



Component statements: The component statements are the lines that define the circuit components and their connections. Each component statement starts with a letter that indicates the type of the component, followed by a list of nodes that connect the component terminals, followed by one or more parameters that specify the value or model of the component. For example: R1 1 2 1K This statement defines a resistor named R1 with a value of 1K ohms connected between nodes 1 and 2. The letters that indicate the type of the component are: - R for resistor - C for capacitor - L for inductor - V for independent voltage source - I for independent current source - E for voltage-controlled voltage source - G for voltage-controlled current source - F for current-controlled current source - H for current-controlled voltage source - Q for bipolar junction transistor (BJT) - M for metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET) - D for diode - J for junction field-effect transistor (JFET) - Z for MESFET - B for behavioral source - X for subcircuit call The parameters that specify the value or model of the component depend on the type of the component. For example: R1 1 2 1K This statement specifies the value of the resistor R1 as 1K ohms. V1 1 0 DC 5V This statement specifies the value of the voltage source V1 as a DC source with 5V magnitude. Q1 3 2 0 QMOD This statement specifies the model of the BJT Q1 as QMOD, which is defined elsewhere in the netlist or in an external library file. You can use various units and prefixes for the parameters, such as m for milli, u for micro, [user n for nano, etc. You can also use expressions and variables for the parameters, such as sin(2*pi*1k*time) for a sinusoidal source, or VDD for a supply voltage. You can use comments in the netlist file to explain or document your circuit or simulation. Comments start with an asterisk (*) and end with a new line. For example: * This is a comment R1 1 2 1K * This is another comment You can also use dot commands in the netlist file to perform various functions or operations, such as defining models, libraries, parameters, variables, options, controls, etc. Dot commands start with a dot (.) and end with a new line. For example: .MODEL QMOD NPN (BF=100 VAF=50) * This defines a model for a NPN BJT .INCLUDE mylib.lib * This includes an external library file .PARAM VDD=5V * This defines a parameter for the supply voltage .OPTIONS LIST NODE * This sets an option for the listing file .MEASURE TRIG V(2) VAL=2.5V * This measures the trigger time of node 2 You can also use subcircuits in the netlist file to define and reuse complex circuit blocks or modules. Subcircuits start with a .SUBCKT command and end with an .ENDS command. For example: .SUBCKT OPAMP 1 2 3 4 5 * This defines a subcircuit for an opamp * 1: positive input, 2: negative input, 3: output, 4: positive supply, 5: negative supply E1 6 0 1 2 100K * voltage gain stage R1 6 4 10K * load resistor C1 6 3 10pF * compensation capacitor R2 3 5 10K * output resistor .ENDS OPAMP * End of subcircuit definition X1 7 8 9 VDD VSS OPAMP * This calls the subcircuit OPAMP You can find more details and examples of creating and editing netlists in HSPICE in the HSPICE User Guide. The types and options of analysis in HSPICE




After you have created and edited your netlist file in HSPICE, you can perform different types of analysis to simulate and evaluate your circuit. The types of analysis that you can perform in HSPICE are:


  • DC analysis: DC analysis calculates the DC operating point and the DC transfer characteristics of the circuit. It can also perform DC sweep analysis, which varies one or more DC sources or parameters and plots the resulting DC quantities.



  • AC analysis: AC analysis calculates the AC small-signal response and the AC transfer characteristics of the circuit. It can also perform AC sweep analysis, which varies the frequency of an AC source and plots the resulting AC quantities.



  • Transient analysis: Transient analysis calculates the time-domain response and the transient behavior of the circuit. It can also perform transient sweep analysis, which varies one or more transient sources or parameters and plots the resulting transient quantities.



  • Noise analysis: Noise analysis calculates the noise voltage and current contributions and the noise figure of the circuit. It can also perform noise sweep analysis, which varies the frequency of an AC source and plots the resulting noise quantities.



  • Sensitivity analysis: Sensitivity analysis calculates the sensitivity of a circuit output to variations in circuit parameters or sources. It can also perform sensitivity sweep analysis, which varies one or more sensitivity sources or parameters and plots the resulting sensitivity quantities.



  • Monte Carlo analysis: Monte Carlo analysis performs statistical simulations of the circuit by randomly varying the circuit parameters or sources according to specified distributions. It can also perform Monte Carlo sweep analysis, which varies one or more Monte Carlo sources or parameters and plots the resulting Monte Carlo quantities.



  • Other types of analysis: HSPICE also supports other types of analysis, such as pole-zero analysis, Fourier analysis, temperature analysis, worst-case analysis, etc.



To perform a type of analysis in HSPICE, you need to specify an analysis statement in your netlist file. An analysis statement starts with a dot (.) followed by a keyword that indicates the type of analysis, followed by one or more options that specify the parameters or settings for the analysis. For example: .DC V1 -5V 5V .1V * This performs a DC sweep analysis by varying V1 from -5V to 5V with a step of .1V .AC DEC 10 100Hz 10MHz * This performs an AC sweep analysis by varying the frequency of an AC source in a decade scale from 100Hz to 10MHz with 10 points per decade .TRAN 0.01m 10m * This performs a transient analysis by simulating the circuit for 10ms with a time step of 0.01ms .NOISE V(3) V1 DEC 10 100Hz 10MHz * This performs a noise sweep analysis by calculating the noise voltage at node 3 due to V1 in a decade scale from 100Hz to 10MHz with 10 points per decade .SENS V(3) * This performs a sensitivity analysis by calculating the sensitivity of the voltage at node 3 to all circuit parameters and sources .MC RUNS=100 * This performs a Monte Carlo analysis by simulating the circuit for 100 runs with random variations in circuit parameters and sources You can find more details and examples of performing different types of analysis in HSPICE in the HSPICE User Guide. The methods and tips of plotting and interpreting results in WaveView Analyzer




After you have performed a type of analysis in HSPICE, you can plot and interpret the results in WaveView Analyzer. WaveView Analyzer is a graphical user interface tool that allows you to view and analyze the waveforms of the circuit variables, such as voltages, currents, powers, etc. Here are some methods and tips of plotting and interpreting results in WaveView Analyzer:


  • Open the output file: To open the output file that contains the results of the analysis, you need to launch WaveView Analyzer from the Start menu or from the folder where you installed HSPICE. Then, you need to click on the "File" menu and select "Open". You will see a dialog box that allows you to browse and select the output file that you want to open. The output file usually has an extension that indicates the type of analysis, such as .tr0 for transient analysis, .ac0 for AC analysis, .sw0 for sweep analysis, etc.



Select the waveforms: To select the waveforms that you want to plot and analyze, you need to click on the "Waveform" menu and select "Add". You will see a dialog box that allows you to browse and select the waveforms from the output file. The waveforms are organiz


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