Multisim has expanded its circuit simulation capabilities and enhanced the engineer’s toolbox with a large set of custom instruments and analyses, developed in LabVIEW, and now available for download for Multisim users(1). Using the rich set of math functions, programming algorithms, and measurement tools in LabVIEW, engineers truly have a unique set of capabilities that can redefine how SPICE can be used for circuit design.
1. What is a Custom LabVIEW Instrument for Multisim?
Unlike most traditional circuit simulation tools, Multisim offers a high level of versatility in defining the simulation setup for a circuit design, including running interactive mode simulations directly from within the schematic environment. In addition to the fixed set of 20 simulation analyses and the 22 virtual instruments included in Multisim(2), engineers can use signal generation, simulation, analysis, and virtual instrumentation utility tools developed in LabVIEW and made available to the Multisim community to better evaluate circuit performance, optimize their designs and overall make better decisions more quickly by using these powerful pre-built engineering and measurement and tools. Simply put, these custom LabVIEW instruments allow you to place specially built LabVIEW instruments directly in the Multisim schematic for use in line with interactive mode SPICE simulation.
2. What types of LabVIEW Instruments are available for Multisim?
In addition to the built-in instruments, the set of available custom instruments covers a wide range of applications offering you the advantage of accurately evaluating the circuit performance with the right signal stimulus and calculations before leaving the desktop simulation to physically prototype your PCB design. Imagine easily recording signals to disk during long duration simulations and looking at the data later, or taking complex frequency domain measurements while adjusting the component values, or researching if a component you are simulating is immediately using a Digi-Key search – these are all possible using these Virtual Instruments.
Advanced Signal Generators
Import a variety of custom signals with different characteristics to accurately test and stimulate your circuit. A few of the available instruments include triangular, chirp, Gaussian pulse, custom noise, and EFT burst waveform generators.
Improved Signal Visualization and Graphing Tools
The available tools include waveform recording, stacked signal graph visualization, histogram plotting, and others that allow you to easily display, measure, and archive data using the powerful graphing and file I/O capabilities of LabVIEW.
Application-Specific Analyses and Measurements Tools
LabVIEW is known for its powerful measurement library and now these tools for application-specific measurements and analyses are available in Multisim. Examples of the applications include power electronics measurements and analyses, audio frequency measurement tools, device characterization measurements (such as an Rds-on plotter for testing MOSFETs), filter synthesis and analysis tools and Analog to Digital interface and testing tools.
Hardware Virtual Instruments
Harness the power of real measurements and compare your simulation data with real measurements. Engineers can now interface to real NI instrumentation such as the NI ELVISmx instruments and several NI PXI measurement instruments. You can also download virtual instruments that emulate and interact with third party hardware such as the Keithley 2000 DMM or to generic instruments using the GPIB Source instrument.
Interactive Sensor Modeling and Analysis Tools
LabVIEW is also known for its ability to interface to sensors using various signal conditioning and data acquisition technologies. Now you have the ability to model many sensors in a unique way using Multisim and LabVIEW to build up interactive models that you can use in the design and analysis of your signal conditioning circuits and interfacing systems. Among the sensor types available include various temperature sensors, strain and photodiode sensors.
The Multisim virtual instrument utility tools include a Digi-Key® part search tool(3) and a simulation rate calculator that tells you how fast the simulation is running. In addition there is a powerful waveform calculator tool that allows you to perform waveform calculations including simple math operations, powerful expression based math and even unit conversion on common engineering quantities.
3. Additonal Resources
- Learn how to install a custom analysis or instrument
- Learn how to create your own analysis or instrument
- Download LabVIEW instruments and analyses for Multisim
(1) Custom LabVIEW Instruments are available for use in all versions of Multisim, except for Multisim Base Edition.
(2) Multisim PowerPro includes all available analyses and built-in instruments, for features within other versions of Multisim, see here: http://www.ni.com/multisim/buy/pro/
(3) Digi-Key and the Digi-Key logo are registered trademarks of Digi-Key Corporation, 701 Brooks Avenue South, Thief River Falls, MN USA