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What is best software used to design electronic circuits?

  1. Apr 4, 2012 #1
    Hello everybody,

    Please i need a reliable software to use in electronic circuit design, and to check the circuit to be working before manufacturing,i mean not to make it, and then find that it doesn't work, so software to design and another to do analysis of the circuit, or one software do both, anyone can help me with that?.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 4, 2012 #2


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    2017 Award

    there's a number of simulation programs out there ... eg multisim

    do some google searching on simulation packages.
    whatever you end up using... actual prototyping will be the final test as you will find that sim software doesnt take into account the way things work in the real world

  4. Apr 5, 2012 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Here at work, we use OrCAD CIS to do the schematics, and we use MicroCAP to do the SPICE simulations of the analog circuitry. We use Xilinx tools for our digital work for the most part. I believe that OrCAD also can link up with PSPICE, if you want a more automatic way to do your mixed-signal simulations.


  5. Apr 5, 2012 #4
    I really liked Altium for schematic capture, spice simulation, and board layout. It also has good parts/documentation management features and lets you model your board+components in 3D to visually check for interferences.

    The last software I had to use was Zuken Cadstar, and I really hated it in every category compared to Altium. It is clumsy, buggy, ugly, confusing, awkward, and takes a while to get work done.
  6. Apr 5, 2012 #5
    I use LTSpice for simulation. I have been using it quite a bit lately for designing music electronics, so far so good. In fact, I design on LTSpice before I even breadboard the circuit because I design the waveform and it works.


    It's free!!!
  7. Apr 5, 2012 #6
    OrCAD is a circuit design suite which has Capture/Capture CIS as schematic editor, Layout as PCB Layout and PSpice/PSpice A/D as SPICE simulator. The newest version includes many more in the package. The advantage of using OrCAD is its accuracy and convergence. They have improvised the simulation algorithm a lot for that. It also supports various device and macromodel and supports upto BSIMv3.1 (for those unaware it is MOSFET model by Berkeley). It also comes as free demo/ Lite / student edition where simulation capability is limited to 10 transistor. The disadvantage of using OrCAD is you wont find SPICE model for all devices in the package. You have to download datasheet and make your own model.

    I dont know about other simulator, but I do know about some down point about LTspice. I once ran a simulation which had convergence problems and all other spice simulator gave me errors about time step. LTspice did not stop and warn me and just gave me erroneous result.
  8. Oct 18, 2012 #7
    i would recommend Cadsoft Eagle.
    It is the best software for circuit board design i think.
    It includes a schematic editor, autorouter and a layout editor.
    For more info just check the homepage.
  9. Oct 18, 2012 #8
    About 15 years ago I used the full Microsim PSpice package and liked it very much. At the time I believe it cost about $5000. Now I use the free student version but it is severely limited in the number of components that can be used. When I have a small circuit I often use PSpice but if the circuit is larger than what the free PSpice can handle, I use LTSpice. LTSpice is not limited in the number of components and is also free, but for me, it's not as easy to use as PSpice.
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