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Using Multiple Software Packages To Solve Complex Problems

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Programming and DSP Issues in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1252.1 - 8.1252.9



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Paper Authors

author page

Michael Parten

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

Session 2222 Using Multiple Software Packages to Solve Complex Problems

Micheal Parten Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Texas Tech University

I Introduction

Engineering students normal learn to use a number of different software and simulation packages. However, in most cases, they use and view these as separate entities that have little relationship to each other. Thus, when one software package doesn’t do quite what is really needed they frequently abandon the software package, the problem they are trying to solve or both. Using multiple software packages to solve problems is an important lesson to learn.

This paper presents a specific example of how to incorporate multiple software programs that can demonstrate to students the power of this approach. In this case, an electric circuit simulation package is used in conjunction with statistical analysis. Specifically, the maximum frequency of operation of complex integrated circuits can frequently be estimated by examining the frequency of a ring oscillator. The many complex processing steps necessary to build the integrated circuit have variations that change the parameters of the circuit changing the maximum frequency of oscillation. Predicting the effect specific process variations have on the maximum frequency of oscillation is a complex and difficult task. However, the approach to the problem, which is applicable to many other engineering problems, is manageable. The approach requires using circuit simulation software along with statistical analysis software and the necessary interface between the two packages. The information below comes from this assignment to a group of students. All of the figures come directly from student presentations.

II Circuit Simulation

A CMOS ring oscillator is shown in Figure 1. The transient response of the oscillator can be simulated using a number of different circuit simulation packages, in this case, PSPICE. The MOS devices are represented by complex, nonlinear models. In this example, a level 3 model was used. The model coefficients for the specific NMOS and PMOS transistors used in this example are shown in Figure 2.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Parten, M. (2003, June), Using Multiple Software Packages To Solve Complex Problems Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12067

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