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Introduction to SPICE

The circuits encountered in microelectronics may contain a few devices or a few million devices.1 How do we analyze and design these circuits? As the number of devices in a circuit increases, hand analysis becomes more difficult, eventually reaching a point where other methods are required. For example, one can build a prototype using discrete components and observe its behavior. However, discrete devices provide a poor approximation of modern integrated circuits. Furthermore, even for a few hundred devices, discrete prototypes become prohibitively complex.

Today’s microelectronics employs simulation programs extensively. A versatile tool used to predict the behavior of circuits is Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis (SPICE). While orginally developed as a public-domain tool (at University of California, Berkeley), SPICE has evolved into commercial tools such as PSPICE, HSPICE, etc., most of which retain the same format. This appendix provides a tutorial overview of SPICE, enabling the reader to perform basic simulations. More details can be found in [1].

A.1   SIMULATION PROCEDURE

Suppose we have the circuit shown in Fig. A.1(a) and wish to use SPICE to study its frequency response. That is, we wish to verify that the response is relatively flat for f < 1/(2πR1C1) ≈ 15.9 MHz and begins to roll off thereafter [Fig. A.1(b)]. To this end, we ...

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