Wednesday, June 17, 2015

10 Circuit Design Simulation Apps for Pros & DIYers

10 Circuit Design Simulation Apps for Pros & DIYers

Cabe Atwell


Whether you're a professional printed circuit board designer or do-it-yourselfer, you know that testing your circuit board design is a must. Testing can save you money and time avoiding faulty PCB fabrication because it gives you a chance to fix what doesn't work before the board is made.

It's best to test your design out virtually. In other words, make a digital (virtual) prototype of your board and simulate (model) how it will behave in the real world. Here are some popular tools to do virtual testing. These software packages cost money but can save you costly mistakes.

Multisim (National Instruments)
One of the better-known tools on the market for both circuit design and simulation comes from National Instruments with their Multisim (formerly Electronics Workbench) platform. The software is actually part of a larger conglomerate — the NI Circuit Design Software package, which allows users to design their own circuits (circuit capture) and run simulations using a SPICE-based app to test the designs on the fly.

This includes options for design validation and gives users flexible layout options even with 4-layer PCBs with up to 1400 pin designs. The package comes in two versions with a free base-platform with basic options and a paid version equipped with more functionality in terms of error reduction and increased integration flow from schematic to testing.

Click on the image below to begin a quick slideshow (slideshow opens in a new tab on your browser). To read more about each tool, click on the page links in table of contents at bottom of each page.


National Instruments’ Multisim software is based on Berkeley SPICE and comes in both free and paid additions.
(Source: National Instruments)


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