In this article, we will look at free and open-source electronic circuit simulation software. This software allows us to design, analyze, and test a circuit virtually in a browser or on a computer. They simulate the behavior of an electronic device or circuit. We often use them because they are cheaper and quicker. Another use is that it is often more practical to simulate a circuit first than to physically build one. The programs below may provide either analog or digital simulation capabilities or both, have a schematic editor, a waveform viewer, support resistors, capacitors, diodes, etc.
Circuit Simulation Software
In the following, we explore a series of free online and computer software tools for circuit simulation. Some of these may be online tools for circuit simulation.
Online or Web Based Software
Here we are listing a couple of free online circuit simulators for you to try out. The main advantage of these circuit simulators is that they do not need to download them on the computer; rather, they can work directly from the website.
It was one of the first open-source web-based circuit simulation programs. It’s an excellent tool for both students and electronic enthusiasts. Its design is based on colors that can indicate, for example, positive or negative voltage and allows us to build simple circuits using a mouse. Regrettably, the developers were unable to make the leap in quality and increase the graphical user interface.
DcAcLab has visual and attractive graphics but limited circuit simulation software. It’s definitely a great program for teaching and very easy to use. It makes us see the components as they are made. It does not allow us to design the circuit but only helps us practice the circuits.
It is electronic simulation software online with well-made graphics. When we enter the online program, it will ask us to create a free account so that we can save our projects. It has a limited portion of the area to draw where we can draw our circuit. To use it without limitations, it demands an annual fee of $10. We can also download and use it on Android and iTunes. The components have a limited ability to simulate with the minimum parameters. It is very easy to use and has a great system of electronic design. It allows us to embed simulations on our web page.
It is electronic circuit simulation software. Although it leaves people with the first impression of confusion about the website, it provides many examples about how the program works. See yourself on video: “Get started in five minutes”. It displays the measurements of the parameters of the electronic circuit with realistic virtual instruments.
Electronic circuit simulation software PartSim is an electronic circuit simulator online. It’s good at spice simulation. We can draw electrical circuits and test them. It is still a new simulator, so there is a limit, and we can only use a few components to design the circuit and perform simulations.
This is an activity program developed by AutoDesk. It allows us to create the circuit and observe it on the breadboard in real time. We can use the platform for designing with Arduino, simulating the electronic circuit and eventually creating the PCB. The components are displayed in 3D in their real form. We can program the Arduino directly from this software simulation, it is really impressive.
This electronic circuit simulation program has sophisticated capabilities. It allows us to simulate. In addition to the normal mixed-signal circuits and microprocessors we can also work with, VHDL, SMPS power supplies and radio frequency circuits. The calculations for electronic simulation are performed directly on the company’s server. It allows an excellent simulation speed.
EasyEDA is an amazing free online circuit simulator that is very suitable for everyone who loves electronic circuits. It is similar to LTspice IV, but with a somewhat more friendly interface. This simulator is also very powerful, as it can verify analog, digital, and mixed signal circuits with spice subcircuits and models to get results quickly from the cloud-based servers. The software environment allows us to design schematics and check operation with a circuit simulator. When we make sure the circuit function is good, we can create a printed circuit board using EasyEDA. On the website, we can find and use many projects and electronic circuits made by others because they are public and open hardware. It’s free and also allows us to share our work with others.
Computer Software for Circuit Simulation
Computer software offers different ways to manipulate and organize electrical circuits, including the possibility to import files, share, and work with complex electronic schemes. In the following, we have a series of computer software tools to draw and simulate electronic circuits and diagrams.
It is circuit simulation software with a graphical user interface. The software aims to support all kinds of circuit simulation types, e.g., DC, AC, S-parameter, transient, noise, and harmonic balance analysis. This software also supports digital simulations. Qucsis works on almost any operating system, such as Solaris, Apple Macintosh, Microsoft Windows, FreeBSD, NetBSD, etc. The program is released under the GNU General Public License in source code form, so we need to compile it before running it.
This electronics circuit simulation software is available from a mainstream analog chip company, Linear Technology. It works on Windows and OS X. Although it is biased towards using their parts, it is flexible and can be used with other vendors parts. LTspice has a much faster simulation of switching regulators with enhanced SPICE (compared to normal SPICE simulators). LTspice gives access to over 200 op-amp models, transistor models, MOSFET models, etc. A high disadvantage of LTspice is its proprietary code base, which is licensed by Linear Technology. Had they made it open source, LTspice could have easily integrated collaborative development.
This electronics circuit simulation software is a mixed-level, mixed-signal circuit simulation engine based on three open-source software packages: Spice3f5, Cider1b1, and Xspice. Ngspice is part of the gEDA project, a full GPL’d suite of Electronic Design Automation tools. It works on Linux and FreeBSD systems.
The Multisim electronics circuit simulation software is based on Berkeley SPICE and comes with both free and paid additions. MultiSim, the circuit maker software, enables us to capture circuits, create layouts, analyze circuits, and simulate. Highlight features include exploring breadboards in 3D before lab assignment submission, creating printed circuit boards (PCBs), etc. Breadboard simulation is possible with the Multisim circuit simulator. It’s available on Microsoft Windows.
Proteus is a mixed-mode, spice-based electronics circuit simulation tool from Lab Center. They have two versions: basic and advanced. The basic version is free and supports interactive simulation only. While the advanced version supports a range of useful functions and features like graph-based analysis, which includes frequency, noise, distortion, Fourier parameters, etc. The software runs on the Windows operating system.
This is student-version electronics simulation software from CircuitLogix. It enables us to perform analog, digital, and mixed-mode circuit analysis and simulation. This SPICE simulation software provides 4000 devices in its student version, which is 1/3 of the pro version. This circuit-building software gives access to switches, linear and digital ICs, FETs, transistors, relays, displays, signal generators, SCRs, opto-isolators, photodiodes, semiconductors, motors, etc. It works on Windows systems.
This was developed as an extension to Spice 3 by the Georgia Institute of Technology. It has a code modeling feature that enables users to add new models. Its code model library includes functional blocks like multipliers, summers, integrators, magnetic models, limiters, S-domain transfer functions, digital gates, etc. The program provides source code, and its release is in the public domain.
In conclusion, this tutorial provides an in-depth overview of circuit simulation software. It covers both downloadable and web-based software to help us better understand the differences. You can utilize this article to choose the software that best suits your requirements. Hopefully, this article was helpful in providing insight to you in regards to the available software for circuit simulation.
You may also like to read:
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- VIPER22A SMPS Controller IC – Explained with Example Circuit
This concludes today’s article. If you face any issue or difficulties, let us know in the comment section below.