Felicitas PCBSim

  • Work directly from the schematic of CadSoft EAGLE or Altium Designer (coming soon).

    A single button starts the simulation.

  • Access simulation properties directly from your schematic.

    No need to learn yet another schematic entry!

  • User-friendly dialogs opens for each type of component.

    Take care of your circuit, not of cryptic Spice syntax!

  • Directly display voltages, currents, instant and average power.

    All data are available to fly your circuit!

  • Qualify your circuit or component with a DC- sweep.

  • Check filters and amplifiers with a frequency scan.

  • Apply simulation power as you need!

  • Design and simulate transmission lines easily!

  • Import 3rd party’s models automatically from other Spice syntax variants.

  • Master s-parameter data.

    Smoothly integrate them into your simulation.

  • Directly use IBIS models for simulation.

    Manage signal integrity efficiently.

overview-ico Overview

Felicitas PCBSim is a complete time domain based circuit simulator which includes special extensions for Signal Integrity. It covers the frequency range from DC to approximately 100GHz (depending on material properties). The core and basis of Felicitas PCBSim is a complete Spice simulator which handles all standard components and which is able to use many of the available Spice models from different vendors. Felicitas PCBSim works directly from the schematic of supported CAD tools. In fact, it does not even have a schematic editor of its own. All simulation specific properties are directly accessed from the schematic editor. We offer the best integration on the market for CadSoft EAGLE.
Felicitas PCBSim Signal Integrity Modules can answer vital questions at a very early design phase even before the layout is started, such as:
  • Which geometries should be used for the transmission lines?
  • How should the signals be terminated?
  • Will the design work with the intended topology, sockets, ICs and termination networks?
Therefore Felicitas PCBSim allows the circuit designer to give detailed input to the layout engineer. It allows you to get your design right the first time.
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Get Your Demo Version

The Demo Version does include all Standard-Simulation and all three Signal-Integrity Modules. It is sufficient for demonstration purposes, but not for commercial use.

Our integrated FSpice Simulator is able to handle all standard simulation tasks. It of course covers all types of passive components and the major types of discrete active components. Integrated circuits are handled with the aid of simulation models. FSpice understands the syntax of the original 3f5 Spice engine and has also many extensions common to other variants of Spice. The integrated library editor mostly automatically converts models from different syntax flavours. FSpice also supports mixed mode (analog and digital) simulations and includes library elements for common digital primitives (gates, flip-fops, latches). Watch short introduction
FSpice Simulation Engine
Felicitas PCBSim includes a complete SPICE engine. It has been enhanced by special functions which support direct simulation of transfer functions and of IBIS io buffers. All components and nets of the schematic are clearly arranged in a tree view. FSpice is an integral part of Felicitas PCBSim and is included into each available package.
Schematic Entry
PCBSim has a well defined interface to external schematic tools. This interface is currently implemented with CadSoft EAGLE, other are planned. Felicitas PCBSim is activated with the context menu and supplies user friendly dialogs for editing transmission lines, s-parameter,- or IBIS models. All parameters of a simulation are stored within the schematic. Other than the simulation models and the schematic, no additional files are required. Special components like transmission lines or voltage probes are included in the Felicitas Simulation Library. There is also a collection of predefined shapes which can be used in conjunction with model files (IBIS or s-parameter).
Library Editor
There is a huge amount of Spice models available from almost all vendors of electronic devices. Unfortunately, these models are written for different simulators and for different versions of the simulators. Felicitas PCBSim is able to use most of these 3rd party models with the aid of the Library Editor. The Library Editor handles two versions of each model: the original one (supplied by any 3rd party) and the FSpice version, which is suitable for the simulation with Felicitas PCBSim. Especial care has been taken to be able to use models originally written for Cadence's PSpice®. The Library Editor is able to convert the original model in most cases automatically to the FSpice model. Furthermore, it even parses the comments inside the model to retrieve meaningful pin names from it. This greatly simplifies the assignment of models to schematic shapes. The Library Editor is an integral part of Felicitas PCBSim and is included in each available package.
Spice Model Importer
It can be a tedious task to import a collection of models from a third party. The Spice Model Importer greatly simplifies this work. It is able to scan a single file which contains a possibly huge number of models or a whole set of files in a directory. It automatically converts the original models to models suitable for the use with FSpice, the integrated Spice Simulator. The models are automatically sorted into library files, which can then be further edited with the Library Editor. Search pattern allows it to automatically retrieve certain information from each model, for example the Zener voltage of each model in a collection of models for Zener diodes. The Spice Model Importer is included in the Professional Package and in all Signal Integrity Packages.
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Get Your Demo Version

The Demo Version does include all Standard-Simulation and all three Signal-Integrity Modules. It is sufficient for demonstration purposes, but not for commercial use.

There are many different digital technologies in use which requires careful handling of signal integrity, for example:
  • DDRAMs
  • PCI Express
  • High-speed backplanes
  • FPGAs
  • SerDes
These technologies often use low voltage signals with tight timing margins. Designing systems without thorough simulation requires luck or a number of re-spins. Felicitas PCBSim's Signal Integrity Packages contain up to 3 special modules which allow to simulate high speed digital designs for Signal Integrity.
It is very important to account for frequency dependent losses and frequency dependent delay times especially with highly lossy material like FR4. Felicitas PCBSim includes a state-of-the-art calculator which quickly determines the frequency dependent characteristic of the most commonly used transmission line types. The calculator determines the properties of transmission lines based on the geometry and the PCB material in use accurately and quickly. A simulation model is created which does reflect all calculated properties in a wide frequency range. For a quick initial test, it is also possible to use generic parameters (characteristic impedance and constant delay time). This allows a system to be simulated without any losses.
For connectors and sockets the vendors usually supply simulation models as s-parameter files in Touchstone format. Those files contain simulated or measured frequency domain data for a wide frequency range. The S-Parameter Editor can handle data of S- Y- or Z-parameters as well as mixed mode data (used for differential signals). Felicitas PCBSim contains a complete vector fitting algorithm which very accurately creates transfer functions which match the input data precisely. The detected poles of the transfer function can be visualized. A special plot shows passivity violations. The S-Parameter Editor is able to eliminate unused ports from the model. Those ports can be treated as opened, shorted, or terminated. The created model can be checked for passivity violations and, if necessary, corrected. They are by design causal, that is, they do not produce output signals which anticipate the input signal. All functions are readily available through a user friendly GUI. Special attention has been paid to represent the data in easy to read diagrams. The model creation process can be done with a single button or step-by step. The later might be of interest for the simulation of active parts. Here the passivity enforcement would not be desired. The integrated FSpice engine has special functions to directly simulate the created models.
IBIS models are readily available from all major semiconductor vendors. They describe the behavior of integrated circuits without exposing any internal design details. PCBSim is compatible to IBIS file of version 5.1 or lower see PDF document. IBIS files are converted to a format suitable for time domain simulations. As with the s-parameter files, a flexible pin mapping allows simulation of any number of signals in a single simulation run.
Get free demo

Get Your Demo Version

The Demo Version does include all Standard-Simulation and all three Signal-Integrity Modules. It is sufficient for demonstration purposes, but not for commercial use.

About Licence Related Issues:

Yes, you can install it on any number of computers. Only the one which has a valid Dongle can simulate.
Yes, the Dongle is not operation system specific. Our licence conditions state, that we are only obliged to support questions for one operation system. But as long as there are no questions which are specific to more than one operation system, we don't care. 

Yes, the normal licences are perpetual. Only the special "lease" licences are for a certain time period.
You have to have a valid "Basic" or "Standard" simulation licence with valid software maintenance. 

Yes, it is 15% of the list price. The perpetual licences include the first year of maintenance. The lease licences are always coming with valid software maintenance. 

Yes, for the "Basic" and "Standard" package we have student licences. They must not be used for commercial tasks. Otherwise, they are fully featured. 

FAQ About Standard Simulation:

It is a fork of the original 3f5 code from Berkeley. We have made quite a number of bug fixes and have added extensions for the simulation of IBIS and s-parameter data. 

Only for the "Basic" version there is a limitation to 100 components. The type of component does not count. So you can have 80 integrated circuits and 20 diodes, if you like. 
All other versions have no limitation but the available memory and the time it takes to simulate. 

You can always write a subckt model and use the library editor to create a simulation model from it. This model can then be assigned to any schematic shape or any library component. 

FAQ About the Spice Simulation Models:

Almost all models which are labelled "Berkeley" can be used. Most models for PSpice can be used, if they are not encrypted. Many models from LTSpice can be used if they are not encrypted (we do not yet support some special extensions from LTSpice for operational amplifiers, this will follow). 
Other Spice syntax flavours often work as well. 
The library editor of Felicitas PCBSim will automatically convert many different syntax variants. If you run into an error, please send us your original model and we will have a look at it. So, you do not have to manually convert the different syntax variants. 

Many vendors do not allow to redistribute their models. We try to get the permission to redistribute from as many vendors as possible. 
If you feel you have a model which can be redistributed and want to have it checked, just send it to us. 

FAQ About the CAD Interface:

Yes, we are planing as next step the support for Altium.
Yes, although there might be an extra charge for the interface (the interface to CadSoft EAGLE is free).

Yes, there is a well defined interface between Felicitas PCBSim and the CAD system. It is also fairly simple to implement. 
Please ask us for the current interface specification. 

FAQ About Signal Integrity Simulation:

Currently not, although we will support that in future. The transmission line parameters are calculated from so called generic data. 
That is, you would enter for example the width of a trace into Felicitas PCBSim. It will not (yet) be taken directly from the layout. 

Yes, it is extremely helpful. Most issues can be identified and rectified in a very early design stage (for example: configuration of inputs and outputs, characteristic impedance of the tracks, maximum deviation in length between the tracks, configuration of the additional termination (if any), possibility to use a certain socket or connector, ...). The result of a simulation in a very early design stage is a detailed input to the layout engineer.
Depends. If we have accurate s-parameter data available from the vendor, the simulation is simply exact. It covers all important effects like crosstalk between lines of a connector, propagation delay, reflections and so on. Sometimes the s-parameter data are poor. They have for example only very few frequency points or they are strongly noisy. In this case, the simulation can only be as good as the s-parameter data. We try to compensate in a number of ways, but sometimes it is just better to choose a different vendor with more accurate data.

The models are sorted according to the pin. So each pin can only have a certain number of possible input / output models (that is configurations). 
Still this number can be very large (especially with FPGAs). 
The information, which configuration should be used for a certain application should be in the data sheet of the integrated circuit. Unfortunately, it is often well hidden. Sometimes it is the best to look in the data sheet for a selection of likely models and then just simulate all the models which seems to be suitable and pick the best.
The input / output configuration is later selected by software (for microcontrollers) or firmware (for FPGAs).
Get free demo

Get Your Demo Version

The Demo Version does include all Standard-Simulation and all three Signal-Integrity Modules. It is sufficient for demonstration purposes, but not for commercial use.