Design Validator | Failure Analysis | Test Designer

Design Validator

Design Validator™ is a software feature included in ICAP/4Windows, ICAP/4 Professional, and Test Designer. It provides a generalized set of capabilities including:

  • Tracking of multiple circuit configurations with all part failure modes and tolerances, multiple analysis setups and multiple test measurements with pass-fail tolerances
  • The test measurements can be representative of design specifications, component stress conditions, or virtually any performance criteria
  • Simulation of an entire suite of tests automatically
  • Automatic Alarms reporting for failed test measurements
  • Ability to make any circuit design change or insert any component failure mode and perform a regression test to see how design specifications are affected by the change
  • Reporting of summarized measurement results with pass-fail grades and appropriate documentation
The Design Validator™ feature extends SPICE well beyond its traditional single simulation oriented boundaries.

How The Design Validator Feature works:

You begin by using the integrated SpiceNet schematic entry tool to capture different circuit configurations or variations. For example, one version may have a different set of values than another, or different test circuitry or different stimulus. Each circuit configuration can be assigned one or more SPICE analyses and each configuration-analysis grouping can be assigned one or more automated measurements. The combination of an analysis, a configuration, and a measurement is referred to as a “Test”.

The measurements can be made on any number of nodes or devices and are setup using an easy-to-use Wizard approach. Advanced users can take advantage of IsSpice4’s powerful ICL scripting capabilities to make specialized measurements. All of the commonly required measurements are available, including cursor and event-based measurements. Measurements can be simple (i.e., max, min, pk-pk) or consist of a complex series of events (i.e., propagation delay triggered after a specific circuit condition is reached).

Design Validator™ automatically simulates the multiple test configurations you have created. The results are organized into a report containing the measured (simulated) result and the pass/fail limits which are used to grade the performance as shown below.


Design Validator™ runs all the simulations and processes all the results WITHOUT the need for any user interaction. Evaluating design changes has never been this easy!!!

The report shows which tests passed or failed based on tolerances assigned to your measurements. Different pass/fail limits can be easily assigned but defaults are inserted for you. Once setup, the Results report allows you to investigate the effects of virtually any circuit design change easily and quickly.

Performed in the design phase, Design Validator allows you to set a baseline performance criteria for use in subsequent design modifications, re-designs or re-use. The design baseline can include product specification compliance, component stress results and failure propagation studies; all of which can be used for product quality management.

Design Validator™ enables any part of your system to be tested and verified under any condition, including out-of-spec performance variations based on any design change or variation. With Design Validator™, test strategies can be improved and debugged by enabling virtual production studies to be undertaken without the need to build a prototype or even wait until the design process has been completed. Design Validator™ is a vast improvement over manual analysis, and dramatically reduces the time-consuming evaluation of large volumes of data.

Uses and Benefits

  • Automatically validate and evaluate circuit changes against design specifications
  • Easily simulate and verify multiple circuit configurations
  • Provide a framework for automatic test set software design
  • Make automated measurements, under a variety of conditions, without manual interaction
  • Identify the components that are outside of their ‘safe operating area’


  • Report with pass/fail indicator shows you instantly how far your measurement is out-of-tolerance
  • User-defined pass/fail limits may be asymmetrical; tolerances can be in absolute terms or percent
  • Freely define different test configurations and scenarios
  • Automatically perform a variety of measurements on each test configuration
  • Quick edit allows you to make circuit changes and resimulate to see the results