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An Integrated Use Of Circuit Simulation And Spreadsheet For Enhancement Of Circuit Design And Semiconductor Device Instruction

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Electrical & Computer Engineering Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.186.1 - 10.186.12



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Paper Authors

author page

Raymond Winton

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2238

An integrated usage of circuit simulation and spreadsheet for an enhancement of circuit design and semiconductor device instruction Raymond S. Winton, Member ASEE Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mississippi State University


The circuit simulation construct is a network of nodes interconnected by component devices that are responsive to the voltage and current stimuli applied as sources and signals. The component devices may be simple linear form or they may be non-linear devices, in which case they are usually of semiconductor origin. Each different type device owns a set of specific parameters that define its operation. The circuit simulator decomposes the circuit and ascertains the electrical facts of the circuit in the form of node voltages and branch currents, outcomes which are peculiar to the physical effects represented by the strengths of these device parameters and therefore of critical concern to a circuit designer.

Semiconductor devices are generally devolved in the classroom by their device physics and the principles of operation that control the flow of electrons and holes. Basic first-order concepts lend themselves to mathematics that is reasonably tractable and can be readily developed by the versatility of the spreadsheet environment. However, for sub-micron devices, where the field effects are very intense, much of the first-order physics loses ground to second-order effects, most of which are abstract and often impenetrable to the circuit designer. And often any exposition of these second-order effects is a time-consuming burden to the instructor, whether for circuit design or for device physics.

This paper identifies a technique that is invaluable to the circuit designer and/or semiconductor devices instructor by which the circuit simulations and the spreadsheet environments are integrated to resolve devices and/or circuit design questions. The environment can also be used for an empirical cross-coupling of device theory and circuit design. The student version of Cadence/ORCAD/pSPICE, which is the most common classroom circuit simulation platform, is the principal operational utility, with the Excel platform as the complementary spreadsheet utility.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Winton, R. (2005, June), An Integrated Use Of Circuit Simulation And Spreadsheet For Enhancement Of Circuit Design And Semiconductor Device Instruction Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14907

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