SUGAR is a simulation tool for MEMS devices based on nodal analysis techniques from the world of integrated circuit simulation. Beams, electrostatic gaps, circuit elements, etc. are modeled by small, coupled systems of differential equations.
It was developed at UC Berkeley from a research group involving, among others, Alice Agogino, Zhaojun Bai, James Demmel, Sanjay Govindjee, Ming Gu, and Kristofer Pister.
SUGAR inherits its name and philosophy from SPICE. A MEMS designer can describe a device in a compact netlist format, and very quickly simulate the device's behavior. Using simple simulations in SUGAR, a designer can quickly find problems in a design or try out new ideas. Later in the design process, a designer might run more detailed simulations to check for subtle second-order effects early in the design, a quick approximate solution is key. SUGAR provides that quick solution.