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SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis) is an algorithm developed at Berkeley University of California, and is the core of the best software of electronic simulation.
An electronic simulator is a program that allow you to draw a schematic circuit and, through mathematical models libraries associated with devices, allow you to simulate the components behavior and the global behavior of the circuit.The software simulation is often part of an integrated development environment (IDE), that provides important tools as routing software, PCB editor, a design rule checker and so on.
Some of those software are not free of charge and other does it.
A SPICE simulation program however is not a "magic box",is not enough to copy an electronic sheet to obtain automatically the right result.Vendor's model libraries are very reliable but often the designer have to model by himself some device, like a transformer, or have to model electronic phenomena that are not related to physical devices but anyways have a big deal with the global circuit.In addition, SPICE is a finite difference numerical method, so there are simulator parameters that is important to learn about to improve the simulation results and avoid convergence problems.This is why professionalism and experience of designers are so important as
the reliability of the libraries models.
The benefits to learn using a SPICE simulation software are lots,among all,once you have modeled a circuit, you can easily change components and see immediately how its behavior changes. Furthermore, together with PCB editor tools, SPICE has become the standard in electronics industry, speeding up large-scale production.