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Simulation Data Plotting


This article discusses on how data plotting can be improved. There are various programs out there, each has it's own pros and cons:

  • gtkwave: a great viewer for digital simulation data
  • gwave: analog waveform viewer
  • KJWaves: simulation frontend with plotting window
  • buildin plotting functions in ngspice
  • gnuplot / octave / scipy / … or similar programs as postprocessing script languages

There have been various suggestions on the mailing lists about the feature a plotting program could have:

  • postprocessing: integrate, add, diff, fft, …
  • view, examine: cursors, multiple windows, …
  • data import, file format: circuit simulation data (gnucap, spice, …) hdf5 , measured data from oscilloscopes, spectrum analysers, …
  • data export, file format: hdf5, pictures (png, ps, …), ascii
  • communication backends: dbus, …
  • extension/scripting language

Draft1: Extend gtkwaves

  • write some import functions for analog data

Draft2: improve gwave

gwave requires an old guile-gtk for GTK1.2.

  • port gwave to guile-gtk2.0 for GTK2.x
  • remove the guile-gtk requirement. Maybe create a native gtk2 application with libglade?

A rewrite of gwave:

Draft3: Search for existing data exploring programs

Are there any programs out there that can show and postprocess simulation data? If yes, how can they be extended to work as a waveform viewer for the simulators (gnucap, ngspice)?

Draft4: A new plotting application

Some vague notes on how a new plotting application could be written. This notes currently relate on python as programming language.

  • the GUI could be created with libglade
  • the data storage format could be hdf5 , maybe together with pytables
  • the plotting engine could be matplotlib (png, ps export included)
  • postprocessing could be done with scipy
  • the scripting language is python. Thus import filter to hdf5 can easily be written. Even an integrated python shell would be possible. Seen on MayaVi 2

Disadvantage: This configuration has a huge rucksack of additional required packages.


There are now some programs out there, that use the python, numpy, matplotlib tool chain:

geda/data_plotting_improvements.txt · Last modified: 2014/04/18 11:10 by vzh