Bringing PCB-Design and Simulation Together with eSim


Working with eSim

The eSim platform is quite user-friendly, and supports Windows (7, 8, 10) and Ubuntu (12.04) operating systems. The main user interface (UI) is quite familiar, with menu bar, tool bar, dock area and console, project explorer and workspace. The toolbar allows users to access eSim modules as required.

Clicking ‘Schematic Editor’ button in the toolbar takes the platform to EEschema. EEschema has a series of toolbars that enlist the components and functionalities, which can be picked and placed on the workspace to create the circuit schematic. There are options of ‘Footprint Editor,’ which opens the CvPCB tool, and a layout editor, which opens the PCBnew tool. These steps create the netlist and the PCB layout.

The ‘Convert KiCad to NgSpice’ option enables format conversion. This section packs five tabs: Analysis, which sets the different parameters for analysing the circuit; Source Details, a dynamic tab scaled as per the number of power sources in the circuit; Device Modeling, which opens Model Builder; Subcircuits, which allows users to choose or create sub-circuits for components; and Ngspice Modeling, which opens the in-built Ngspice models. All this data needs to be entered. Once done, the conversion is processed. ‘Simulation’ button displays a Python plot of the circuit on a graphical user interface. The Ngspice-to-Modelica converter translates the simulated circuit in Modelica language, which is fed into the OMOptim for circuit optimisation.

The eSim library contains a comprehensive list of components and models. Users can also upload external library files to eSim.

Summing up

Developed under the Free and Open Source Software for Education (FOSSEE) initiative, eSim can be a decent alternative to commercial EDA solutions like OrCAD and HSPICE. The integration of PCB design and simulation in one package makes it a strong recommendation for basic- and medium-level users.

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