Design Methods for Electronics Development
Besides the calculation, modeling with SPICE is an important tool when drafting and measuring electronic circuits. Consistent parameters such as current and voltage in analog and power electronic circuits can be analyzed in detail even in form of a simulation. Periodic and transient processes like switching operations are shown as well, so that losses and the load for individual components can be analyzed. The analog signal processing is also covered by such a simulation. This reproduction of complete electronic circuits or critical parts prevents redesigns and allows an exact circuit design.
Integrating FPGA design and electronic development
The high complexity of electronic and mechatronic systems requires a superior method of development. Understanding the system as a whole is absolutely necessary to avoid mistakes and shorten the developing time. As regards model based design, both the draft and the implementation of an algorithm will be verified on models of the environment. In order to achieve this, all parts of the system must be considered in a testbench, Wikipedia: Model Based Design. As for a FPGA design, it is usually sufficient to specify a model of the testbench in VHDL, and to test the design in a pure VHDL simulation. In order to model analog electronics and analyze voltages, currents and switching operations, SPICE is used. Depending on the system's complexity, FPGA design in VHDL, analog interface and power electronic as well as the environment/control track in Matlab/Simulink have to be brought together in one simulation. The total observation of the system leads to both a shortened design cycle and an improved design quality. The following graphic shows a test environment with different options for describing the components.