EDA > KiCad

how does Kicad simulation compare to LTspice?

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nctnico:

--- Quote from: 2N3055 on July 12, 2021, 03:37:31 pm ---If you want sophisticated M.C check out Microcap 12..

--- End quote ---
I agree. I have switched to Microcap 12 as well. Still learning the ins & outs though.

JohnG:
I have evaluated a number of free Spice tools, primarily for detailed simulation of switch-mode power converters. What I mean by detailed is the use of Spice to model both switching transitions with a lot of parastics, power transistors with highly non-linear capacitances, tiny parasitic inductances, etc. It's tough on a lot of simulators due to many vendors dubious ways of making non-linear caps in their models, and the need to have time constants that are orders of magnitude different in the same circuit.

LTspice and NGspice top the list. We chose LTspice for the following reasons:
*Best convergence and speed with the circuits and models we use.
*Usable (if somewhat clunky) GUI: this is required to get younger engineers started quickly, and for quick analyses. Schematics are pretty much necessary for collaboration and discussion, which we do a lot of amongst ourselves and with customers.
*Runs many third-party models with little or no change.
*Handles long simulations with large output files usably quickly and without frequent crashing.
*Appears to be around for a while
*Ability to run more sophisticated analyses using Octave or Python as a scripting engine. You can do optimization and MC and it works.

NGspice looks really promising, but it balked on some of the models we use, whereas LTspice converged properly to the best of our knowledge. And, the KiCAD GUI for NGspice is not there yet, and to be fair, it is not the main focus of KiCAD. But, what I really like about NGSpice:
*Runs many third-party models with little or no change.
*Open source
*Keeps getting better and more powerful
*Pretty good convergence (but not as good as LTspice)
*Handles long simulations with large output files usably quickly and without frequent crashing.
*Appears to be around for a while
*Ability to run more sophisticated analyses using Octave or Python as a scripting engine. You can do optimization and MC and it works.

I really wanted to like Microcap 12. It looks like the complete package, with extensive models, fantastic analytical tools, etc. But, in the end, we did not go with it for the following reasons:
*Not under development, and may quit running under some future OS. If it ever goes open source so that this situation is changed, I might look at it again. I've multiple times in my career had software tools that became unusable for one reason or another, with no hope of recovering the work lost. It really sucks when that happens.
*GUI so cluttered that I cannot find anything easily. I think you can simplify it via the preferences, but I don't want to invest time in something that's not supported.
*It crashed a lot on me running long simulations.

Just my $0.02,
John

PKTKS:

One more vote to ucap

alas in urge need of maintainers..

Paul

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