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Circuit simulation for circuit verification

Whether you're designing a simple LED lighting rig or a complex microprocessor, an error-free circuit is essential for your project to work effectively. Confirming that circuits will behave as intended before they are used in real-world applications is one of the most important steps in the circuit design process.

This is where circuit simulators come into play. They offer engineers a virtual testing space where they can check that their designs meet the specification.

At DesignSpark, we offer a circuit simulator service that can be used to ensure that electronic circuits and mechatronic circuits and systems work properly. To find out more about how simulation is used for the verification stage of the circuit creation process, check out our guide.

Understanding circuit simulators

Circuit simulators are sophisticated software tools designed to replicate the behaviour of electronic circuits. They give engineers a space where they can create a representation of a circuit, including components such as resistors, capacitors, and transistors. These simulators then mimic the flow of electrical current, the interaction between components, and the response of the circuit to various input signals and conditions.

Circuit simulators are versatile and can enable the design and analysis of different circuit types, ranging from analog circuits, which deal with continuous voltage and current signals, to digital circuits, which process data.

The role of circuit verification

Before looking at how circuit simulators are used for verification, it's important to understand the concept of circuit verification itself. This ensures that a circuit design functions precisely as intended and meets the specified requirements. Verification calculates the expected values and outcomes of your circuit.

This verification is a critical step in the design process. It catches errors and presents opportunities to amend and update the model's design. This is one of the final steps before it progresses to the prototyping and manufacturing phases.

How circuit simulators confirm functionality

A circuit simulator is a useful tool for verifying the functionality of a circuit's design. Here are the stages of the verification process:

  1. Analysis: Circuit simulators allow engineers to analyse how a circuit behaves under a wide range of operating conditions and signals. They provide information about factors such as voltage levels and current flow. This analysis helps engineers detect any deviations and allows them to make changes at an early stage.
  2. Flag design flaws: If there are any issues after the analysis stage, engineers can use the simulator to see where there are any design flaws or errors within the circuit. For instance, they can reveal issues such as excessive voltage levels. By identifying problems like these early in the design phase, engineers can make changes.
  3. Optimisation: Engineers can experiment with different components and values in the simulator to meet performance criteria. This is a refinement stage and engineers can confirm that each optimised model is working as it should.
  4. Stress testing: Here, engineers use the simulator to test the circuit in a range of conditions. This stage ensures that the model can operate as expected, even if there are temperature issues or component failures, for example.

Advantages of circuit simulators for circuit verification

As an engineer, using circuit simulator software for the verification stage of the circuit modelling stage has several advantages:

  • Cost saving: Verifying the effectiveness of the circuit while it is still in the simulation stage means that necessary changes can be made before reaching hardware prototyping. This can save money on redesigns or manufacturing errors – a significant factor when we consider that components such as semiconductors are expensive.
  • Time saving: Any verification and follow-up amends that are required can be conducted quickly. This reduces the risk of having to create several physical prototypes in different iterations.
  • Explore the alternatives: Engineers can try different scenarios in this virtual testing space and address issues that might not be as obvious with real-world testing.

Why choose DesignSpark's Circuit Simulator software service for circuit verification?

We can help you confirm the circuit you're working on is performing as expected. Our circuit simulators can be selected to suit the application.

  • Different plans: You can choose from three subscription plans. Our free Explorer plan gives you access to the ideal design, modelling, simulation, and analysis environment for your project.

Both Creator and Engineer – our two paid plans – offer a 60-minute Simulator time limit, and with our top-tier Engineer plan, you can access private groups where you can collaborate and share your insights.

  • Unlimited designs: No matter what plan you choose, you can access unlimited public designs. Plus, we offer partner provided SPICE and VHDL-AMS models for you to work with.
  • Latest news: We keep engineers of all levels up to date with the latest information about circuit simulators, so you know exactly what features to expect. When you're ready, you can select the plan you want. If you have questions, check out our circuit simulator FAQs or speak to our experts for help.

Login or register today to begin using circuit simulator software with DesignSpark.

I'm a Mechanical Engineer by qualification though I worked for a long time specialising in Motion Control systems and integration with various PLC systems. I've wide experience of many types of applications from packaging machines to military and some applications that I can't mention. At home, I like to tinker and make things with wood, metal, plastics, electronics and mechanical system. I'm never happier than with a hammer and a screwdriver in my hands....