EDA > KiCad

how does Kicad simulation compare to LTspice?

(1/5) > >>

I'm just starting out simulating with Kicad and I am wondering whether my time is better spent simulating in LTspice? What are the performance differences between the two? I want to simulate audio frequency circuits with a lot of filtering and potentiometer controls. I haven't got any experience with using simulators and I don't know their limitations (I always assumed they'd be useless after using a bad one years ago and never going back to it)

I use Kicad for layout so it would be the easiest thing to use it for the simulation aswell.

your thoughts?

LTspice is the industry standard. It is around for decades with a well established reputation and a huge base of models and documentation. I would stick with it.

Available for Windows, MAC and GNU/Linux (via WINE).


I have an alternate vision of this...

dealing with SPICE since early 80s...
I must say that SPICE is de facto the standard.

LTSPICE is BIASED to their own proprietary and encrypted models.

Unless your are really in need of using some os these...
you will be far more provided with PSPICE models (de facto standard)

NGSPICE (in which KiCAD is based) is a re-write of SPICE
suited to modern usage. (while SPICE was intended to mainframes)

LTSPICE is totally BIASED to their products.
Their models are encrypted


I've been working with variations of PSPICE for 1/4 of a century, and from time to time comes something new...
As stated above, SPICE is Standard. And for good reason:
1) Any decent simulation will do more or less internally the same (solve differential equations with newton method)
2) The transistors models for SPICE have been updated (for a long time they were not updated anymore, but just because there is no need)

Note SPICE --the core program-- is a command line utility, that can be downloaded from the California University. Then all  SPICEs, commercial and not, are largely based on that original. All commercial versions have fancy interfaces to draw the circuit, because writing it in a text file is not very intuitive. Having said that, a lot to times I had to write the files: I wanted to do variations on simulations, so I wrote programs that would adapt the circuit description file and run the simulation in background. There are other reasons why it is good to understand the text files.

I've professionally used many SPICEs, a lot were F'ing expensive, REALLY expensive from very known brands. As we compared very complex simulations, the results of LTSPICE and the other 3 very expensive were same or better in LTSPICE.

LTSPICE may have encrypted models, like ALL OTHERS, but you can use any model downloaded from internet. BTW I never failed in finding a model online for (LT)SPICE, for other tools (e.g. modelica), sometimes there is nothing, sometime you have to pay.

Other good thing of (LT)SPICE, is that because it just solves differential equations, you can model anything you can write a constan coefficient differential equation for. For example I've modeled motors, like BLDC and DC motors, and complex mechanical mechanisms attached to them, because I had the equations.

Spice comes from the University of California, Berkeley and the original version is often called Berkeley Spice.  I believe that it is in the public domain.
There are many commercial versions which use Spice at the core.
PSpice is very popular, and the first version I used required used a 5-1/4" disc with a hole drilled through it as a security object, later replaced by a dongle (IIRC).
The free version of PSpice supports only a limited number of nodes, but enough for many student purposes.  The full version must be paid for.  It includes proprietary features that increase its usability, and some of its functional models differ from that used in original Spice.
I have had problems with some component models written for PSpice that don't work properly in Berkeley Spice.
LTSpice is free since it was used to sell components from Linear Technologies.  There are other similar versions.
The Spice version I use is AimSpice  http://www.aimspice.com/  from Norway, since my personal preference (rare nowadays) is line-oriented files, rather than circuit capture.  It is reasonably priced, and includes a useful post-processor


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

There was an error while thanking
Go to full version