An open-source, cross-platform transmission line simulation tool.
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Permalink
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.
data
doc
src
.gitignore
COPYING
README.md

README.md

AlterPCB Transmission Line Simulator

This program is a part of AlterPCB, an open-source, cross-platform PCB design program. AlterPCB is still a work in progress, but since this tool is quite useful by itself, I decided to release it as a stand-alone program.

Screenshot

Features

  • Calculates transmission line properties such as characteristic impedance, propagation velocity, wavelength, loss, capacitance, inductance, ...
  • Uses an accurate quasi-TEM field solver rather than approximate formulas. As a result it can simulate arbitrary cross sections.
  • Includes models for uncommon transmission line types such as differential coplanar waveguides.
  • Models optionally include solder mask (which can have a small impact on characteristic impedance and loss).
  • Simulates both resistive and dielectric losses (including skin effect and proximity effect).
  • Supports anisotropic materials (most PCB substrates such as FR4 are in fact anisotropic).
  • Supports single frequency analysis as well as frequency and parameter sweeps.
  • Supports automatic parameter tuning (e.g. to determine the track width that will result in an impedance of 50 ohm).
  • Straightforward graphical user interface (Qt-based).
  • Open-source and cross-platform.

License

GNU GPL v3 - read 'COPYING' for more info.

Dependencies

  • Compiler with C++11 support (GCC >= 5.0 or Clang >= 3.3)
  • Qt 4 or 5
  • SuiteSparse (specifically CHOLMOD)
  • BLAS and LAPACK (OpenBLAS performs best, ATLAS is reasonable, reference (netlib) BLAS is quite slow)

CHOLMOD appears to interact badly with multithreaded BLAS/LAPACK implementations, especially those without OpenMP support. If you are using OpenBLAS, you will get the best performance when OpenBLAS is compiled without any threading support (USE_OPENMP=0 USE_THREAD=0). If you can't recompile OpenBLAS, the next best option is to disable threads at runtime using the OMP_NUM_THREADS environment variable:

OMP_NUM_THREADS=1 ./alterpcb-tlinesim

Compiling and installing

Compiling should be done with Qt Creator or 'qmake' as usual. Right now installation is not supported yet.