FROM EDN EUROPE: Low-cost circuit simulator

-February 03, 2005

With the release of version 8 of its Multisim software, Electronics Workbench has added "virtual" Tektronix instruments that allow you to probe a simulated circuit with the same actions that you would use on a hardware prototype on the bench (Picture). Multisim is a Spice-based simulator; with the latest version, its authors have added automated design-capture routines that speed the process of entering a design by more than 50% compared with previous editions. Other new features include dynamic probes, simulation profiles, model makers, a worst-case algorithm, and an amplifier-circuit wizard. The probing feature allows you to place an unlimited number of probes on a schematic to report real-time dynamic values of voltage and current as the simulation proceeds. Profiles allow designers to configure, save, and reuse complete Spice-simulation parameter setups. You can also place pop-up, mouse-activated notes anywhere on a circuit to provide reminders or guidance to other users.

Model makers extend the types of component that you can import from data books (transformers, converters, or electromechanical devices) and represent in the software environment. The worst-case tool uses statistical analysis to test a circuit under the worst conditions that it can expect in real-world operating conditions. The transistor-level amplifier wizard automatically generates circuit values for a common-emitter amplifier stage that matches specifications that the user enters. Prices for the upgraded package begin at €1995.

Electronics Workbench, +31 35 694 4444,

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