Texas Instruments Releases its Own Custom Version of Cadence’s PSpiceSeptember 28, 2020 by Gary Elinoff
PSpice for TI features a built-in library of IC models for over 5,700 Texas Instruments analog integrated circuits.
Available at no cost, PSpice for TI is a computer-based simulation environment that allows analog engineers to explore the functionality of a proposed design before physically building it. PSpice for Texas Instruments utilizes Cadence’s powerful analog analysis engine, allowing designers to prototype even the most complicated designs without actually committing to device fabrication until much later in the manufacturing process.
This will serve to both reduce design costs and to reduce the time needed to bring a successful product to market.
Image courtesy of Texas Instruments
As described by Kevin Anderson, practice leader for power, automotive, and industrial semiconductor research at Omdia, "Choosing the right simulation software can make or break a design, as it should accelerate development, not hinder it." He goes on to say that "Tools that are intuitive and include system-level simulation capabilities can cut development time and speed time to market."
The Genesis of PSpice
SPICE was originally developed at UC Berkeley in the 1970’s. Its purpose was to enable designers to create a computer-based simulation of the expected behavior of an analog electronic circuit before actually building it.
Simulators of this nature are truly invaluable in IC development, where breadboarding is not practical. It also allows engineers to ascertain what happens to a discrete circuit’s behavior when one of more component’s parameters vary within (or beyond) stated tolerances.
More recently, other academic sources have developed their own freeware versions of this groundbreaking program. Two major commercial versions of SPICE available today are Synopsys’ HSPICE and Cadence System’s PSPICE.
A Powerful Collaboration
In combination with Cadence, TI has launched PSpice for TI, it’s own specific version of the Cadence’s OrCAD PSpice environment. PSpice for TI leverages Cadence’s simulation technology and builds on it with a full library of TI power and signal chain models. Synchronized TI library updates eliminate the need for importing manually.
"Cadence PSpice is the trusted signoff simulator for power supplies, internet of things devices and other electronics in a wide range of markets, including healthcare, aerospace and defense, and automotive," said Tom Beckley, senior vice president and general manager of the Custom IC and PCB Group at Cadence. "Our ongoing investment in PSpice and collaboration with TI aligns with our Intelligent System Design strategy by enabling TI customers to simulate their system-level designs faster, reducing development time and accelerating time to market."
The software’s capabilities include Monte Carlo and worst-case analysis, which allows engineers to chart their designs’ performances over a range of device tolerances and operating conditions.
If desired, users of PSpice for TI can easily move their simulations to commercial versions of PSpice Designer. From there, it is possible to directly utilize other Cadence tools, such as OrCAD/Allegro PCB Designer.
Specific Use Cases for Spice Simulation
- Device Evaluation — Get a highly accurate simulation of the project long before the parts arrive
- Design Verification — How does the design respond to stresses?
- Debugging — This unpleasant task is made so much easier when you can test out changes without going near a soldering iron
PSpice for TI is built directly from the most current versions of SPICE. Additionally, the program can transfer simulations back and forth, to and from commercial versions of the Spice.
PSpice used to simulate the AC transfer function of an RC filter while varying the capacitor value. Image courtesy of Texas Instruments
Free and From Home
And, now that so many engineers are stuck at home because of the pandemic, having an analog simulator at your disposal changes down time into very productive up time. Want to get started? Click here and TI will tell you how.