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Circuit Simulator first developed in the 70s


Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis (SPICE) is a design language for analog circuitry that was developed in the early 1970s by the EECS Department at the University of California, Berkeley and was first presented as a technical paper the 16th Midwest Symposium on Circuit Theory in 1973. The paper “L.W. Nagel and D.O. Pederson. Simulation program with integrated circuit emphasis“ was about to change the world.

SPICE was a derivative of the UC Berkeley CANCER program and published as “L.W. Nagel and R.A. Rohrer. Computer Analysis of Nonlinear Circuits, Excluding Radiation” at IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits in 1971. The excluding radiation was important because this was a deviation from requirements for government contracts at that time. It is also interesting to note how CANCER was created. It did not start as a huge research program, instead it was a class project taught by Ron Rohrer. The tool was a way to learn and understand circuit simulation. L.W. Nagel continued development of it as a Master’s project (when it was renamed SPICE 1) and then rewrote it for his PhD (SPICE 2).

Forty years later, we are still using this and the many variants that have spun off from it.

In 1983, BSIM3 was added by Dr. Chenming Hu. BSIM3 is a physics-based, accurate, scalable, robust and predictive MOSFET SPICE model for circuit simulation and CMOS technology development.

In 1989 SPICE was rewritten in C (original had been Fortran) and this is the version from which all commercial versions are based. To ensure portability of models between the various derivative works, the Compact Model Council (CMC) was created in 1996. The CMC became part of Si2 in 2013 and was renamed the Compact Model Coalition.

Compact Transistor Modelling for Circuit Design (Computational Microelectronics)

Transistor Level Modeling for Analog/RF IC Design

Nanoscale Transistors: Device Physics, Modeling and Simulation



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