SMASH - Mixed-Signal Simulator

SMASH - Mixed-Signal Simulator

Scott MacIntosh - Design Engineer

Black Forest Engineering (BFE) is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado and develops custom analog and mixed signal integrated circuits. BFE specializes in sensor readout and display technologies, but has a wide variety of experiences with many applications. We have used SMASH as our primary simulator for a number of years and have recently started using the SLED schematic entry.

The mixed-signal simulation capabilities of SMASH, combined with the SLED schematic entry, have simplified the setup of our large, mixed-language simulations. The process of incorporating models in various languages is straight-forward with very little overhead. The fact that all schematic, symbol and configuration files in SLED are in ASCII format has allowed us to automate certain schematic changes which has helped decrease design and verification times. Support from Dolphin for SMASH and SLED has been excellent and they have always been very interested in suggestions for new and/or improved features. In terms of simulation speed, SMASH has performed very well overall in benchmarking tests we have run and simulation times were much faster than similarly priced simulators.


Black Forest Engineering
Colorado Springs - USA

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Derek Dyck - Project leader

Infolytica corporation specializes in the modeling and simulation of electromagnetic devices using finite element analysis. Our capability to characterize the behaviour of motors, generators and actuators as VHDL-AMS models allows the designer to work with very accurate models within a system simulation. We found the SMASH implementation of VHDL-AMS supports all of the features required in the models we generate. In particular the large data sets (on the order of 10,000 parameters) required to accurately characterize three-phase rotating machines was handled speedily and efficiently by the SMASH simulator.


Infolytica Corp.
Montreal - Canada

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Afshin Rezayee - Founder and Co-President

I and my team have been using with Smash for more than a decade.
The level of service and quality of the tools that Dolphin provides is excellent. The simulation speed of Smash for deep submicron CMOS models is amazing.
Smash offers many advanced features in analog, digital and mixed-mode simulations that significantly improves the efficiency and the accuracy of circuit/ system design sims.


Kili Technology Corp
Toronto - Canada

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James Holmes - Vice President, Research & Applications Consulting

Lynguent has developed the ModLyng™ Integrated Modeling Environment (IME) for creating and maintaining analog and mixed-signal models. Customers graphically develop their models in a language- and platform-independent way, and they must be confident that the models exported in the HDL of their choice will simulate properly when they are ready to deploy them in their design flow. In turn, Lynguent needs a “gold standard” to validate the generated HDL code, and that is what SMASH has been for us for VHDL-AMS.

We found the SMASH implementation of VHDL-AMS (IEEE 1076.1) is quite LRM-compliant, a very important feature for us. We also appreciate the seamless integration of SPICE with VHDL-AMS and the other supported languages. We were able to get up to speed with SMASH quite quickly because it is easy to use and the documentation is very good. On the few occasions when we had problems, we received rapid and thorough support.


Portland - USA

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Wilfried Hasselberg, IC Design Project Leader and Phil Poole, Director Semiconductor

Our team has benefited from the Verilog-AMS modeling training performed by Dolphin Integration at Microdul's office. We have particularly appreciated the short but consistent theoretical introduction which is then completed by concrete and complex exercises. The training was really oriented towards modeling techniques and not only towards EDA solutions. We are now efficiently prepared to start using this language for our next designs. We will for sure recommend it without hesitation to any person!


Zürich - Switzerland

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J. P. Curzan - Sr. Design Engineer and Manager of IC Development

Nova Sensors designs and assembles integrated circuits and camera electronics, specializing in infrared technology. The ICs we design are very large (tens of millions of transistors) and have very complex on-chip state machines for analog signal path switching, clocking of digital and mixed-signal processing circuits as well as for control interface timing.

Our IC group was looking for a front-end simulation tool that would allow us to realize full-chip simulations combining SPICE and Verilog models on a Windows platform, using a true single-kernel mixed-language engine. SMASH (SLASH LMS/Verilog) got us a big step closer to this realization. With the ability to easily push all standard logic gates from the transistor domain into the HDL domain (it seamlessly takes care of all glue logic), an interface circuit example containing over 7400 MOSFETs (48 different geometries), and which required 10 hours to simulate with analog SPICE, finished in only 10 seconds with m/s SMASH. I have confidence that once fully implemented in our IC design flow, this tool will save us many hours of top-level functional verification as well as allow us to guarantee to our customers first-pass silicon success.


Nova Sensors
Solvang - USA

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Douglas Goodman - President and CEO

Ridgetop Group, Inc. of Tucson, Arizona, provides design services for space satellite electronics operating in extremely harsh environments. The ICs and boards used in these applications must be radiation-hardened, so that the circuits will function properly when subjected to radiation. Standard device models do not incorporate these external radiation effects.

The radiation-hardening design process requires that unique equations governing the exposure to total ionizing dose (TID), dose rate, and single event effect (SEE) radiation be added to the simulation models to model these effects. VHDL-AMS provides an effective framework for incorporating these radiation effects, and the full compliance of SMASH with the VHDL-AMS language, along with its strong multi-domain and mixed-signal simulation capabilities of its single kernel simulation engine, have been leveraged by Ridgetop to design these complex circuits.


Ridgetop Group, Inc.
Tucson - USA

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Doctor Yannick Hervé - VHDL-AMS Expert - Scientific advisor

A thermo-magneto-fluidic model of 10,751 equations was simulated without any problem, in a reasonable time of 5 seconds system time for 41 minutes simulation time, with a minimum time step of 10 ms. I am pretty certain that the developed model is the most complex ever realized worldwide in VHDL-AMS. It is generic in its size and the very interdependent equations are non-linear with time variable coefficients. Due to the quality of the SMASH compiler (generate, vector, matrix terminals…), the code is very compact and readable. Furthermore, discontinuities are very well handled and generate no convergence issues.



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Ken Martin - President and Professor of Microelectronics

At Snowbush, we focus on high-end analog and mixed-mode interfaces with wired channels; currently, we have significant and increasing activities (over 50 employees) especially in the areas of high-speed serializers and deserializers, and high-frequency ADC-based AFE's. Practically all of our designs include significant amounts of digital circuits for calibration and programmability, and require a mixed-mode simulator. We focus on system design as well as circuit design. In these applications SMASH excels. Although we use many simulators at Snowbush, I personally have been using SMASH extensively for almost 6 years and exclusively for the last 4 years.

Like all simulators, SMASH has had problems; when these occurred, the support from Dolphin has been immediate and excellent. In addition, SMASH's compatibility with other simulators and foundry provided transistor models has been significantly improved recently and these are no longer limitations. Some significant areas SMASH excels in: operating point convergence (best I've encountered), mixed transistor/verilog simulation (some start-up time, but very powerful), and fast accurate simulations (top-of-the-class for prediction of distortion). Perhaps even more enabling: SMASH's AKO capability makes Monte Carlo simulations possible and simple, even when foundry matching information is not available. Another enabling capability, that has been used extensively at Snowbush, is the C-modelling using the ABCD approach (for behavioral DAC's, ADC's, S/H's, PGA's, digitally-controlled oscillators, etc.). I personally prefer SMASH over all other alternatives.


Snowbush Microelectronics
Toronto - Canada

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Georgi Valkov - PhD student

I have been using SMASH for several years during my Master of Science study and my PhD research. The simulator offers a very good performance. A unique feature is the flexibility to combine multiple hardware description languages (HDLs) like Spice, VHDL-AMS and Verilog-AMS into a single project. Hence existing models written in different HDLs can be directly integrated into the final project, saving the time that is otherwise required to rewrite everything into a single language. The Spice language syntax in SMASH is extended and allows modelling of noise sources and noiseless devices.

SMASH also offers a great platform for integration of custom plugins and scripts into the simulator. This aids the automation of various tasks, and also allows generating customized reports. Tasks like extraction and optimization of model parameters can be easily automated by a custom plugin written in C++. And the results can be visualized on another computer or a mobile device, and updated in real time.

Behind that great simulator stands a team of professionals, always ready to assist us – the customers, listen to our demands, and improve SMASH.


Technical University of Sofia
Sofia - Bulgaria

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Laurent Quiquerez - Assistant Professor

We develop and implement multi-physics models for the design of highly coupled multi-domain systems.
Our current projects, illustrated in TAISA’2007 papers, address:

  • fluidic systems: a non-quasi static model transport model in fluidic micro-channels
  • systems for mechanical energy damping and harvesting: mechanical and electro-mechanical models of piezo-electric patches.

In our experience, SMASH has the best coverage of VHDL-AMS IEEE standard. Thanks to this, our models show compact and readable sources.


University of Lyon 1 - Institut des Nanotechnologies de Lyon
Villeurbanne - France

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