A method to evaluate capacitance based on parameter extraction from finite- element analysis as well as a global model for a novel silicon microfabricated accelerometer are presented. Mechanical simulations have been performed and results are coupled with the capacitance-evaluation method to compute the static and dynamic response of the accelerometer. Using both mechanical data and capacitance data, a global model for the accelerometer is generated with models written in Hardware Description Language for Analogue device (HDL- A(TM)). An improvement of the capacitive displacement detection technique is obtained. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science S.A. All rights reserved.