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The most widespread approaches to semiconductor device simulation are the drift-diffusion equations, momentum/energy balance equations, and the Monte Carlo method. In this article, the first comparison between results of a Monte Carlo simulation of a multiple-quantum-well structure and those obtained using a classical drift-diffusion simulator is presented. The outcome of the two methods is found to be similar. Still, the Monte Carlo approach offers much more insight into several issues such as the effects of the light holes and the carrier–carrier interactions. The limits and advantages of both methods are discussed. © 1998 American Institute of Physics.