What are some good tools which will simplify the process of designing and modeling analog signals? I am currently using Mathematica for modeling signal behavior, but that requires me to define a new model for every new piece of functionality (e.g. a low-pass filter). Are there any tools that could help me out?

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    \$\begingroup\$ SPICE \$\endgroup\$ – m.Alin Jun 23 '12 at 22:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ SPICE seems the obvious choice, but if you are looking for a more mathematically based tool, then maybe try Scilab with it's Xcos plugin. \$\endgroup\$ – Oli Glaser Jun 23 '12 at 22:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ SPICE is not a design tool, and to use it as such is a Bad Habit™. You use simulation to verify your design, not to create it. If you use SPICE for design there's the risk that you start with something that only works half, and keep tweaking until it works. It's not unlikely that you don't know why it works. \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Jun 24 '12 at 7:04

SPICE (or any derivative of it) would be the best choice if you are doing circuit simulation as part of the process, also take a look at MATLAB with Simulink.

MATLAB might also have a few toolboxes that are helpful for your needs, e.g. Filter Design (but more aimed at digital filters) and the Signal Processing toolbox.


Does CircuitLab have the functionality you need? You can use voltages from ground to model analog signals. We've got arbitrary Laplace transform blocks to handle your linear filter needs, and furthermore we have arbitrary behavioral sources if you want to apply nonlinearities anywhere in your signal chain. Piecewise-linear and step functions for inputs, plus time domain and frequency domain analysis modes.

Take a look at this circuit for a closed-loop multi-domain simulation, including a thermal model (modeled as R and Cs) plus a controller with nonlinearities:

thermal and control loops

If not, let us know what features you'd need!


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