SYMMICTM Users Manual
Version 3.1.6
(TM) Trademark 2008 CapeSym, Inc.

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The statusbar displayed at the bottom of the main window contains five fields as highlighted in the figure below. The time point being displayed in the main window is indicated by the time field. When a steady-state solution is loaded, the time slider (or scroller) is disabled and the time field shows t=Inf. When an unsteady solution is loaded, the time slider can be used to move to different time points and animate the solution or plot backward and forward in time.

Temperature Range

Adjacent to the time field is the temperature range field which displays the minimum and maximum values in the solution at a particular time point. As the time point is changed, this information will change to reflect the range of the data currently being displayed. When a temperature plot is displayed, the temperature range shows the minimum and maximum temperatures in the plot at a time point. Thus, the temperature range reflects the range of temperatures in the part of the solution or plot currently displayed. However, the range is not adjusted for slicing; the statusbar always shows the full range of the unsliced solution at a time point.

Memory Usage

The memory usage field shows the size of memory in gigabytes (Gb) that has been committed to processes currently running in the system. The maximum amount of committed memory available to the system is the amount of physical memory plus the size of the page file, minus a small amount of overhead. Thus, the memory usage shows how much of the system's memory space is in use. This text remains black when committed memory is less than the amount of physical memory, but turns red when physical memory is exceeded. The best performance of SYMMIC will be obtained when memory usage remains “in the black” throughout a simulation. If a simulation requires significantly more memory than the available physical memory, there may not be enough memory available to even complete the computation.

Note: If the width of the main window is too small, the memory usage information will not be displayed.

Statusbar Text

The left-hand field of the statusbar is referred to as the “statusbar text” field. Initially, the filename of the currently displayed template or solution file is shown in this field. The statusbar text can instead display information about the model that changes dynamically while the mouse is moved over the model.

Statusbar Text Dialog

The information displayed in the field is selected using the Statusbar text... dialog, accessed from the Settings menu. Statusbar text options are as follows.

Option Selected

Statusbar Text Displayed



Approx. (x,y,z)

The approximate 3D location of the cursor on the model

Source filename

Path to the template file or solution file currently being displayed

Device filename

The device filename and device number in the layout

Component name

The name of the component under the cursor

Material description

The description text for the material under the cursor

Z layer identifier

The identifier of the layer under the cursor

BC description

Description of the boundary condition on the block under the cursor

Z layer range

The minimum and maximum z-values for the layer under the cursor

X,Y delta values

The delta intervals of the feature block under the cursor

Z layer formulas

The evald expressions for the min. and max. z-values of the layer

X,Y feature index

The numerical indexes [x,y] of the feature block under the cursor

X, Y formulas

The evald expressions for the intervals of the feature block

UseTest formula

The useTest expression, if any, for the component under the cursor

The last eight text options are mainly useful when creating and editing a device template, while the first four options may be useful when setting up a problem or examining the results of a simulation, as shown in the following figure. For example, while the temperature solution is displayed, the statusbar text can be used to indicate the name of the component under the cursor.

The statusbar text field width is limited to a fraction of the window width, so a wider window may allow more text to be displayed. Be aware, however, that there are some hard limits to the length of the statusbar text, in addition to the window size. For the X,Y and Z formula text, for example, each formula will be truncated at 256 characters, no matter how long the actual formula in the template.

The statusbar shows the name of each component as the cursor moves over the model.

The accuracy of the 3D location for the Approx. (x,y,z) option is heavily dependent on the resolution of the depth buffer in OpenGL. The more bits (per pixel) in the depth buffer, or the more the scene is zoomed in, the better the (x,y,z) approximation. These values usually be a little off because of the limited resolution of the depth buffer. Because the OpenGL depth query depends on the presence of a shaded pixel, using stippled transparency for hidden components will cause the z value to flip between the stippled component and the component underneath it.

To get more accurate locations, many of the other statusbar text options trace a ray from the cursor through the model to determine what is visible. This computation is much more complex than using the depth buffer and could be slower to update when very large models are displayed. However, ray tracing does not rely on the presence of shaded pixels with depth buffer information, so it is not fooled by stippled transparency. Ray tracing is used for the device filename, component name, material description, BC description, and Z-layer options. The method will be accurate for any magnification and viewing angle of a device or layout. The X,Y feature options rely on the depth buffer, and generally work best when viewing the model from the top.

Tip: To see how many bits of storage are available for depth information in OpenGL, use the Settings > Window display > Pixel format? menu item. It may be possible to get more depth bits by using OpenGL in software-only mode (rather than GPU mode). To try software-only mode, exit SYMMIC and then open SYMMIC from the Windows Start menu while holding the spacebar down. You should see the message “OpenGL not hardware accelerated!” in the SYMMIC console. The pixel format will now include PDF_GENERIC_FORMAT to indicate software mode, but the depth buffer should also be 32 bits.

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