Because the SPICE program was developed to test integrated circuit designs, the software can be used on SPICE devices, such as analog circuits, digital circuits, electromechanical components and devices with microwave designs. The University of Pennsylvania offers engineering students the opportunity to use the software on multiple instruments, including operational amplifiers, semiconductor devices and bipolar transmitters.
Besides simulating electronic circuits for testing, SPICE calculates currents and voltages against frequency and time. The eCircuit Center adds that the SPICE program is set up to perform analyses on noise and distortion, DC and sensitivity.
SPICE is an acronym that stands for Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis. UC researchers at Berkeley created the program in the '70s in response to the introduction of the integrated circuit.
ICs, or integrated circuits, are small electronic circuits that are made up of components such as diodes, capacitors, resistors and transistors. Before transistors were invented, vacuum tubes were used. However, vacuum tubes were prohibitive for use because of their large size.
The first integrated circuit was invented in 1958 by Jack Kilby who worked at Texas Instruments. A short time later, the IC was included on a silicon chip.
Analog integrated circuits are used in operational amplifiers, microwave amplifiers, multipliers, radio receivers, voltage regulators, power amplifiers and small-signal amplifier designs.
Digital ICs are mainly used in computers. Also known as switching circuits, they include chips used for clocks and calculators, microprocessors, micro-controllers, temperature sensors, timers, multiplexers and logic gates.