Open Software tools for Linux

Discussion in 'Electronics Resources' started by psihodelia, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. psihodelia

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 7, 2006
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    What Software do you use in Circuit Design/Simulation under Linux Environment ?

    Maybe it sounds strange, but I don't like Windows or MacOS. I am many years Linux/Unix user and now, learning EE, I am looking for EE open source tools.

    All what I have found is spice, qucs and iverilog:


    Spice is good tool for a simulation but it's difficult to design smth. new. Spice is excellent if you know what your circuit is. But you need some visual circuit design tools.

    Qucs is very simple circuits visual designer/simulation programm, it has a lot of bugs, impossible to design smth. viable. As example, operation of integration (like in LC circuit) takes endless time. I'v tried to simulate a simple astable multivibrator and it just doesn't work.

    Xcircuit looks very ugly - it just funny, looks like bad students 1-day work.

    Iverilog I didn't tried, but I don't expect smth. greatfull.


    What I need:

    1)good professional circuits vector drawing tool
    2)verilog/vhdl simulator, able to produce spice netlists; suited also for analog circuits netlists
    3)the most precise, irrelevan how much CPU usage, circuits simulation programm (I suppose it's SPICE or is there anything else ?)
     
  2. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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    I'm pretty sure that you are SOL. I could be wrong though.
     
  3. n9352527

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 14, 2005
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    These are strictly my personal opinions, which is often the case when open source is concerned.

    1. gEDA is currently the front runner for schematic entry. It is not 100% there yet, but definitely usable.

    2. VeriWell is the one I would suggest, it was a commercial product previously.

    I don't understand, what do you mean by VHDL simulator compiling SPICE netlist? They are two different kinds of things. No HDL simulator would do analogue and vice versa.

    3. SPICE. Nothing else come even close for general circuit simulations. Of course, you can have specialised tools for specific niche applications but I guess you are talking about general circuits right?

    You can have different flavour of SPICEs. I suggest the Berkeley SPICE. Probably not the best in UI, but it has a very sound simulation engine.
     
  4. mrmeval

    Distinguished Member

    Jun 30, 2006
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  5. psihodelia

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 7, 2006
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    you are wrong - Verilog can be used for analogue Hardware Description. See wikipedia -> Verilog, the very first sentence.
     
  6. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Although I do not want to derail this thread from its focus on Linux, whilst we are on this topic can anyone suggest a suitable freeware (open source) application used for schematic layout for Windows or Mac OS? I've had a look over at that gEDA software suggested by n9352527 but cannot find whether there is a Windows/Mac OS version available.

    Dave
     
  7. psihodelia

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 7, 2006
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  8. psihodelia

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    23
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    sorry, I did mean "to produce"
     
  9. psihodelia

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    23
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    in my case, the installation procedure is very easy:
    emerge geda
    then, all needed tools for geda + geda itself will be fetched from gentoo-servers, will be optimally compiled for my platform (Linux-on-Apple). compilation takes a bit of time, but it's fully automated and for non-x86 platforms it's often only one possibility to have a software. the great advance of that way of installation is flexibility, security and speed.

    I suggest, Windows and OSX have also such installers like emerge and apt-get.
     
  10. n9352527

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 14, 2005
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    Well... it wouldn't be for the first time :D

    As far as I know, the AMS extensions to both VHDL and Verilog are necessary to describe analogue or mixed-signal circuits. These, although not exactly new, are fairly recent addition to HDL languages standards. Some implementations only produces circuit data that are interfaced to external analogue simulators which could be SPICE like.

    Finding a good open source HDL simulator itself is a difficult task, let alone finding one that support the AMS extension.

    There might be a lot of designers out there that use AMS for analogue or mixed-signal projects, however I've never met any of them... Maybe it just means I have to get out more :D
     
  11. n9352527

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 14, 2005
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    There was an old port of gEDA (not all suite, gschem only) for Windows. It isn't currently active I think. I've never used it and wouldn't know how or where to get it, but I heard it wasn't that good.

    I think you should have a look at KICAD, it's an open source suite of schematic entry, parts library editor and PCB layout with gerber and 3D viewer. Quite capable and running on both Linux and Windows. There's no autoroute though.
     
  12. psihodelia

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    23
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    isn't better to fully remove to Linux?
     
  13. mrmeval

    Distinguished Member

    Jun 30, 2006
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    It is possible to compile some linux centric software for windows. I'm not too familiar with this but the cigwin tools will allow command line tools to be used.

    You can use Qemu on windows to run any version of Linux and any of these tools. :) http://www.h7.dion.ne.jp/~qemu-win/

     
  14. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    n9352527 and mrmeval

    Thanks for the above suggestions, I will look into them.

    Dave
     
  15. psihodelia

    Thread Starter Member

    Aug 7, 2006
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    look also at "cygwin" - a port of a big set of Unix/Linux tools for Windows without emulation
     
  16. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Thanks, I have heard of Cygwin before. I will add that to my list of wares to look into when I get a moment.

    Dave
     
  17. Chris Wright

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2006
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    For the gEDA on the Mac OSX try here: http://osx.freshmeat.net/projects/geda/
    Another site to try for Linux/MacOSX : http://mac.softpedia.com/get/Math-Scientific/Qt-Universal-Circuit-Simulator.shtml
     
  18. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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  19. Chris Wright

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2006
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    No, sorry I don't.
     
  20. Dave

    Retired Moderator

    Nov 17, 2003
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    Not to worry, I know a couple of people who use Mac OSX who may be able to try them out for me. I just want to get an idea of how useful they are for recommendations to people.

    Thanks.

    Dave
     
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