Do you use Electronic Circuit Simulation software during your development phase?
So far I have used simulations only a couple of time mainly for simulating op-amp based analog circuit or for power supply related analysis.
Lately, I started to search for simulation software which are available in the market and could be used for circuit simulation for power supply design, etc.
I created this list and publishing it here so the others can take the advantage and save time in researching it all over again.
Advantages of Circuit Simulation Software
Before you head on to the tool, it is important to understand the advantages and some limitation of using electronic circuit simulation software:
- Design and analyze circuits. Circuit simulation can be used to design and analyze circuits of all sizes and complexities. This can help engineers to improve the performance, reliability, and efficiency of their designs.
- Troubleshoot circuits. Circuit simulation can be used to troubleshoot circuits that are not working properly. This can help engineers to identify the source of the problem and to fix it quickly and easily.
- Test new ideas. Circuit simulation can be used to test new ideas before they are implemented in a real circuit. This can help engineers to avoid costly mistakes and to improve the chances of success of their projects.
- Educate students. Circuit simulation can be used to educate students about the principles of electrical engineering. This can help them to learn the basics of circuit design and analysis without having to build actual circuits or hardware which is an additional cost.
- Research new technologies. Circuit simulation can be used to research new technologies and to explore new possibilities. This can help engineers to stay ahead of the curve and to develop innovative new products.
- Validate designs. Circuit simulation can be used to validate the designs of circuits before they are manufactured. This can help to ensure that the circuits will work as intended and that they will meet the required specifications.
- Optimize designs. Circuit simulation can be used to optimize the designs of circuits. This can help to improve the performance, reliability, and efficiency of the circuits.
- Reduce risk. Circuit simulation can help to reduce the risk of failure in new designs. This can save time and money and can help to ensure that the products are successful.
- Speed up the design process. Circuit simulation can speed up the design process by allowing engineers to test and iterate on their designs more quickly.
- Improve collaboration. Circuit simulation can help to improve collaboration between engineers by allowing them to share and work on designs together.
Overall, circuit simulation is a powerful tool that can be used by engineers to improve the design, analysis, troubleshooting, testing, education, research, validation, optimization, risk reduction, and speed of their circuits.
Here are some specific examples of how circuit simulation has been used in the real world:
- Engineers at NASA used circuit simulation to design the circuits for the Apollo Guidance Computer, which helped to land humans on the moon.
- Engineers at Intel used circuit simulation to design the circuits for the Pentium processor, which revolutionized the personal computer industry.
- Engineers at Tesla used circuit simulation to design the circuits for the electric car’s power system, which helped to make electric cars more efficient and affordable.
Circuit simulation is a valuable tool for engineers in a wide variety of industries. It is a powerful tool that can help engineers to improve the design, analysis, troubleshooting, testing, education, research, validation, optimization, risk reduction, and speed of their digital circuits.
Limitation of Circuit Simulation Software
Here are some limitations of circuit simulation:
- Accuracy: The accuracy of circuit simulation depends on the accuracy of the models used for the circuit components. These models are often simplified to reduce the computational complexity of the simulation. As a result, the simulation results may not be perfectly accurate.
- Complexity: Circuit simulation can be computationally expensive, especially for large and complex circuits. This can limit the size and complexity of the circuits that can be simulated.
- Time: Circuit simulation can take a long time to run, especially for large and complex circuits. This can make it difficult to simulate circuits that need to be analyzed in real time.
- Skill: Circuit simulation requires a certain level of skill and knowledge to use effectively. Engineers need to understand the principles of circuit design and analysis in order to use circuit simulation effectively.
- Assumptions: Circuit simulation is based on a set of assumptions about the circuit. If these assumptions are not valid, then the simulation results may not be accurate.
- Model availability: Not all circuit components have accurate models available for circuit simulation. This can limit the accuracy of the simulation results.
Despite these limitations, as mentioned before also, the circuit simulation is a valuable tool for engineers. It can be used to improve the design, analysis, troubleshooting, testing, education, research, validation, optimization, risk reduction, and speed of circuits.
Here are some tips for improving the accuracy and reliability of circuit simulation:
- Use accurate models for the circuit components.
- Use a circuit simulator that is capable of handling the size and complexity of the circuit.
- Use a sufficient amount of time for the simulation to run.
- Use a skilled engineer to run the simulation.
- Make sure that the assumptions used in the simulation are valid.
- Use models that are available for the circuit components.
By following these tips, engineers can improve the accuracy and reliability of circuit simulation and use it to design better circuits.
I did a small research online and found a lot of simulation software available, some of the popular ones are listed first in the list. if you know of some other tools, please do share it with me in the comments below and I will add them to the list.
Circuit Simulation Softwares
|Link||Trail Available||Price options||Online||Offline|
|wdt_ID||Link||Trail Available||Price options||Online||Offline|
|1||LTspice||Yes||Free to use||No||Yes|
|2||Proteus||Yes||$248 , $8622 , $6972||No||Yes|
|4||TinaTI||Yes||Free to use||No||Yes|
|5||MultisimLive||Yes||Free, $9.99/month, $99.99/year||Yes||No|
|6||EveryCircuit||Yes||$15 one time payment||Yes||No|
|7||KiCAD||Yes||Free to use||No||Yes|
|8||Ideal Circuit||Yes||Free to use||No||Yes|
|9||NL5 circuit simulator||Yes||Starting 400$||No||Yes|
|10||PartSim||Yes||Free to use||Yes||No|
|11||Circuit Sims||Yes||Free to use||Yes||No|
|12||DC/AC Virtual Lab||Yes||Free, 84$/year, 799$/year||Yes||No|
|13||DoCircuits||Yes||$29/month , $49/month||No||Yes|
|15||OpenCircuit||Yes||Free to use||Yes||No|
|16||TinaCloud||Yes||29$, 149$, 299$||Yes||No|
|17||QUCS||Yes||Free to use||No||Yes|
|18||MicroCa 12 (No new updates)||Yes||Free to use||No||Yes|
|21||Solve Elec||Yes||Free to use||No||Yes|
|24||PowerSIM(for power electronics)||Yes||contact sales||No||Yes|
I hope you found this list useful.
If you have any feedback, you can share in the comments section or you can also contact me directly.
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