Xyce on macOS Sierra

Xyce is a great free simulator. I recently tried to fire it up on macOS Sierra and ran into a dependency issue. I want to use the Open MPI version to take advantage of multiple cores. The version of Open MPI installed on my system is at a different path and a different version compared to the one Xyce was compiled with. Fortunately, on macOS there’s an easy work around:

otool -L /usr/local/Xyce-Release-6.5.0-OPENMPI-OPENSOURCE/bin/Xyce
install_name_tool -change \
  /opt/openmpi/x86_64-icc-12.1/1.8.2/lib/libmpi_cxx.1.dylib \
  /usr/local/opt/open-mpi/lib/libmpi_cxx.dylib \
  /usr/local/Xyce-Release-6.5.0-OPENMPI-OPENSOURCE/bin/Xyce
install_name_tool -change \
  /opt/openmpi/x86_64-icc-12.1/1.8.2/lib/libmpi.1.dylib \
  /usr/local/opt/open-mpi/lib/libmpi.dylib \
  /usr/local/Xyce-Release-6.5.0-OPENMPI-OPENSOURCE/bin/Xyce

It seems to run fine now.

Free SPICE simulators

Free SPICE simulators are great for practicing circuit design. There are a few free ones that are actively developed:
1. LTspice
2. ngspice
3. Xyce

LTspice comes bundled with a full suite for circuit design: schematic editor, simulator, and waveform viewer. It is actively developed, reasonably fast and very easy to use.

ngspice has a lot more features, including some scripting, and optional integration with TCL (tclspice), or even GPU processing (CUSPICE). ngspice is also Free (as in freedom) software licensed under the modified BSD license.

Xyce is developed at Sandia National Laboratories. It’s main feature is support for parallel multi-core simulation. Xyce is also Free software licensed under GPL v3.