New Nelma release

27.07.2010 12:27

This is a kind of a late announcement: A few weeks ago I released version 3.2 of Nelma, the numerical electromagnetics package. Changelog isn't very impressive, with the most significant change being a patch that fixes compilation on libpng 1.4.x (contributed by Thomas Klausner of the NetBSD's pkgsrc team).

To put some light in this almost forgotten project, here's a brief description:

Nelma is a command line tool for numerically calculating various electrical properties of printed circuit boards.

It is currently capable of calculating capacitances between objects - nets on a PCB. It returns a spice-compatible description of an equivalent circuit of stray capacitances that can be for example used for more accurate circuit simulation. Alternatively it can also produce field data that can be plotted for example with Gnuplot.

There's an export plugin available for gEDA PCB software that automatically creates a Nelma configuration from a PCB layout.

Nelma is available under the GNU General Public License version 2.

I admit I haven't really used this since I left the Faculty, but back then it did help me with a couple of projects. The emphasis was mostly on the simplicity of the algorithm, so I stuck with the relatively inefficient finite difference method (ouch, O(n3) complexity) instead of the usual finite elements. Right now it could really use some love in form of algorithm parallelization or conversion to finite elements method. Any takers for a summer project?

Posted by Tomaž | Categories: Code

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