Publications / SAND Report

Xyce Parallel Electronic Simulator : users' guide, version 4.1

Keiter, Eric R.; Mei, Ting M.; Russo, Thomas V.; Pawlowski, Roger P.; Schiek, Richard S.; Santarelli, Keith R.; Coffey, Todd S.; Thornquist, Heidi K.

This manual describes the use of the Xyce Parallel Electronic Simulator. Xyce has been designed as a SPICE-compatible, high-performance analog circuit simulator, and has been written to support the simulation needs of the Sandia National Laboratories electrical designers. This development has focused on improving capability over the current state-of-the-art in the following areas: (1) 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. (2) Improved performance for all numerical kernels (e.g., time integrator, nonlinear and linear solvers) through state-of-the-art algorithms and novel techniques. (3) Device models which are specifically tailored to meet Sandia's needs, including some radiation-aware devices (for Sandia users only). (4) 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 parallel implementation - which allows it to run efficiently on the widest possible number of computing platforms. These include serial, shared-memory and distributed-memory 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. The development of Xyce provides a platform for computational research and development aimed specifically at the needs of the Laboratory. With Xyce, Sandia has an 'in-house' capability with which both new electrical (e.g., device model development) and algorithmic (e.g., faster time-integration methods, parallel solver algorithms) research and development can be performed. As a result, Xyce is a unique electrical simulation capability, designed to meet the unique needs of the laboratory.