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Simulation as an Essential Tool - Steve Sandler - AltiumLive 2020

This session presents the essential role of simulation in the design and development ecosystem. The speaker draws on his own experience and shares some of his own simulation and the results to answer the fundamental questions. WHY do I need to simulate? WHAT should I simulate? And what is the recommended workflow for efficient simulation? With a focus on SPICE simulation, some of the limitations of SPICE are also discussed.

00:00:00 - Introduction

00:02:25 - Why Simulate?

00:05:25 - How I Got Here

00:08:53 - Used Properly, SPICE is an Essential Tool

00:11:40 - Workflow

00:13:08 - Troubleshooting

00:15:50 - Simulation Requires Appropriate Models

00:19:07 - Catch Big Issues Early

00:22:00 - Start with the Basics

00:23:12 - Adding an Accurate VRM Model

00:27:10 - The Right Fidelity - All System Impacts

00:28:20 - Models vs Pictures

00:34:20 - The PCB is an Essential Component

00:36:00 - Model What's Important, Not More or Less

00:38:35 - Verifying the Model

00:40:07 - Test Setups are Tricky

00:42:45 - Test Equipment Adds Errors

00:43:47 - Noise Creates Jitter

00:46:54 - Expect the Unexpected - Look Hard

00:49:16 - Trust Nothing and Nobody

00:52:20 - Can't Trust Vendor Models

00:54:30 - Time to Get Some Test Data

00:55:40 - Regulator Model Development - What Did We Learn

00:56:48 - Key Takeaways

01:00:24 - Q&A

Speaker Bio: Steve Sandler has been involved with power system engineering for more than 40 years. Steve is the founder of, a company specializing in power integrity solutions including measurement products, services and training. He frequently lectures and leads workshops internationally on the topics of power, PDN and distributed systems and is a Keysight certified expert for EDA software. Steve frequently writes articles and books related to power supply and PDN performance and his latest book, Power Integrity Using ADS was published by Faraday Press in 2019. Steve founded AEi Systems, a well-established leader in worst case circuit analysis and troubleshooting of high reliability systems.


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