Simplify worst-case PSpice simulations with customized measurement expressions (Wayne Huang and Jeff Van Auken, Picor Corp, North Smithfield, RI; Edited by Brad Thompson and Fran Granville -- EDN, 12/16/2005)

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During IC design, worst-case simulations help designers account for variations in characteristics of PNP and NPN transistors and base and polysilicon resistors. These four classes of devices alone produce more than 16 combinations of simulation conditions. To accommodate temperature variations, each combination undergoes simulation at –40, +27 (room temperature), and +125°C, producing at least 48 series of data to analyze when simulations are complete. To help an IC designer evaluate simulated waveforms' characteristics, PSpice provides a library of ready-to-use, predefined measurements, including bandwidth, gain/phase margins, and more. PSpice also allows a designer to use predefined YatX and XatNthY measurements to measure a waveform's y value at a given x value—usually, time—and to find an x value that corresponds to the nth instance of a given y value.

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