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Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by hankjay, Jul 15, 2010.

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  1. hankjay


    Jul 8, 2010
    Hello, Can someone give me advice on a good circuit simulator.

    Thanks, :)

  2. jackorocko


    Apr 4, 2010
    I tried a few before I finally decided to stick with multisim. Really depends on your needs though. Not all simulators are created in equal ways for various reasons.
  3. Mitchekj


    Jan 24, 2010
    SIMetrix/SIMPLIS are pretty nifty. I know they have a free "light" edition, which just has a restriction on schematic size, I believe.

    A lot of the better schematic/layout software packages will have good sim capability too, but those will be pricy.
  4. NickS


    Apr 6, 2010
    I started on the light version of Pspice which I actually thought was good, though most people I talk to do not like it.

    I then moved on to the advanced Cadance spice simulator for IC design which is the best one I have used to date but I am not about to shell out for that seat.

    Then I moved on to the Altium design suite built in simulator, which I must say is hands down the worst spice tool I have ever used.

    I now have now settled on using Multisim. It is not perfect but there are some very nice interactive features that I enjoy.

    One that I have not tried which many of my co-workers like is LTspice by linear technology. I think it is free as well.

    For RF simulation I would recommend Microwave office but again you are talking serious cash(and they don't even give you a permanent licence, you actually have to go back to them every year to get your renewal licence).

    Hope that helps
  5. Mitchekj


    Jan 24, 2010
    What is so bad about Altium's 'advanced sim'? I'm not trying to defend it, btw, just don't have much experience with it. Works well enough for most basic setups. Just curious, as I haven't ever used it for any serious sim, and if I ever did attempt to do so I'd like to know what makes it so bad. :)
  6. NickS


    Apr 6, 2010
    I should have known I would have to quantify that. Let me start by saying that I use altium almost daily and I do like their schematic capture and layout tools very much. Probably 4 years ago was the last time I used the sim feature and I recall altiums process for simulations being a user abusive interface(a lot of unnecessary repetition and hoop jumping + bugs).

    I recall having some difficulties adding spice files to parts and getting the pin #'s correctly assigned. I could reassign the pins but it would not take(revert to default pins). I think I found a work around for that problem but it still agitates me.

    I did not care for the display window at all but that is just a flavor issue. I seem to remember fighting with the vert/hor scaling for a while. And I seem to remember having some difficulties overlapping certain plots.

    I think it was also lacking a good probe tool like cadence and pspice had for DC bias checking.

    Altium may have made strides since then(version 6) But it just seemed to be implemented as a hacked together afterthought. None of the intuitive ease of their other tools translated into the simulator if that makes any sense.

    For me the learning curve was exceeding the tools usefulness and the horizon did not look good enough to stick with it so I bailed for multisim and never looked back.
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