SIMPLIS (SIMulation of Piecewise LInear Systems) is a circuit simulator specifically designed to handle the simulation challenges of switching power systems. Like SPICE, SIMPLIS works at the component level but typically can perform a transient analysis of a switching circuit 10 to 50 times faster. For switching power systems, the piecewise linear (PWL) modeling and simulation techniques employed by SIMPLIS result in qualitatively superior convergence behavior compared to SPICE.
SIMPLIS achieves its speed by modeling devices using a series of PWL straight-line segments rather than by using the SPICE technique of solving nonlinearities such as exponential expressions. By modeling devices in this way, SIMPLIS can characterize a complete, nonlinear system as a cyclical sequence of piecewise linear circuit topologies. This method generates an accurate representation of a typical switching power system where the semiconductor devices function as high frequency switches.
For a comparable accuracy, however, a PWL system can be solved more rapidly than the nonlinear system of equations that SPICE handles. The end result is an accurate and extremely fast simulation that can model complex topologies that would not be viable with SPICE-based approaches.
SIMPLIS has three analysis modes: Transient, Periodic Operating Point, and AC.
SIMetrix/SIMPLIS is the most widely used simulation tool for the design of closed-loop switching power supplies, primarily because SIMPLIS makes the analysis of large and complex systems practical for real-life design based on its ability to do the following:
Because nonlinear device characteristics are modeled using a sequence of piecewise linear straight-line segments, SIMPLIS models for such devices differ from the corresponding SPICE models. Device manufacturers typically provide SPICE models of their products. Taking advantage of the fact that SIMetrix/SIMPLIS has both the SIMetrix SPICE and the SIMPLIS PWL simulation engines available, SIMetrix/SIMPLIS has the ability to convert certain types of two- and three-terminal SPICE models into a SIMPLIS model format. This conversion occurs when the device is placed on the schematic.
Devices currently supported are MOSFETs, IGBTs, JFETs, BJTs, Zener Diodes, and Diodes. During the conversion process, SIMetrix/SIMPLIS runs a series of SIMetrix-SPICE simulations using the SPICE model to generate the appropriate characteristic curves for the device. Curve-fitting algorithms then calculate the corresponding PWL segments for the SIMPLIS model.
In order to obtain the maximum benefit from using SIMPLIS, it is important to fully understand three critical concepts that are unique to SIMPLIS.
In addition to the core SIMPLIS features, the SIMetrix/SIMPLIS Design Verification Module (DVM) can be added to any SIMPLIS version, allowing you to do the following:
Although DVM comes bundled with built-in test suites, its strength lies in its support for user-designed testplans. Using a relatively simple syntax, you can configure a schematic to use with the DVM. In less than five minutes you can ...
DVM also includes the SIMPLIS Multi-Tone AC Analysis, which is useful for characterizing control loops for converters that do not have a true periodic operating point.