Publications / SAND Report

Xyce Parallel Electronic Simulator : users' guide, version 2.0

Keiter, Eric R.; Hutchinson, Scott A.; Hoekstra, Robert J.; Russo, Thomas V.; Rankin, Eric R.; Pawlowski, Roger P.; Wix, Steven D.; Fixel, Deborah A.

This manual describes the use of the Xyce Parallel Electronic Simulator. Xyce has been designed as a SPICE-compatible, high-performance analog circuit simulator capable of simulating electrical circuits at a variety of abstraction levels. Primarily, Xyce has been written to support the simulation needs of the Sandia National Laboratories electrical designers. This development has focused on improving capability the current state-of-the-art in the following areas: {sm_bullet} Capability to solve extremely large circuit problems by supporting large-scale parallel computing platforms (up to thousands of processors). Note that this includes support for most popular parallel and serial computers. {sm_bullet} Improved performance for all numerical kernels (e.g., time integrator, nonlinear and linear solvers) through state-of-the-art algorithms and novel techniques. {sm_bullet} Device models which are specifically tailored to meet Sandia's needs, including many radiation-aware devices. {sm_bullet} A client-server or multi-tiered operating model wherein the numerical kernel can operate independently of the graphical user interface (GUI). {sm_bullet} Object-oriented code design and implementation using modern coding practices that ensure that the Xyce Parallel Electronic Simulator will be maintainable and extensible far into the future. Xyce is a parallel code in the most general sense of the phrase - a message passing of computing platforms. These include serial, shared-memory and distributed-memory parallel implementation - which allows it to run efficiently on the widest possible number parallel as well as heterogeneous platforms. Careful attention has been paid to the specific nature of circuit-simulation problems to ensure that optimal parallel efficiency is achieved as the number of processors grows. One feature required by designers is the ability to add device models, many specific to the needs of Sandia, to the code. To this end, the device package in the Xyce These input formats include standard analytical models, behavioral models look-up Parallel Electronic Simulator is designed to support a variety of device model inputs. tables, and mesh-level PDE device models. Combined with this flexible interface is an architectural design that greatly simplifies the addition of circuit models. One of the most important feature of Xyce is in providing a platform for computational research and development aimed specifically at the needs of the Laboratory. With Xyce, Sandia now has an 'in-house' capability with which both new electrical (e.g., device model development) and algorithmic (e.g., faster time-integration methods) research and development can be performed. Ultimately, these capabilities are migrated to end users.