Expensive Commercial Circuit Simulator Now Free

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Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Jan 31, 2009
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Expensive Commercial Circuit Simulator Now Free
8 Jan 2020


If you are looking for simulation software, you are probably thinking LTSpice or one of the open-source simulators like Ngspice (which drives Oregano and QUCs-S), or GNUCap. However, there is a new free option after the closing of Spectrum Software last year: Micro-Cap 12. You may be thinking: why use another closed-source simulator? Well, all the simulators have particular strengths, but Micro-Cap does have very nice features and used to retail for about $4,500.

The simulator boasts a multipage schematic editor, native robust digital simulation, Monte Carlo analysis, 33,000 parts in its library, worst-case and smoke analysis, Smith charts, and it can even incorporate spreadsheets. There’s a built-in designer for active and passive filters. Have a look at the brochure and you will see this is a pretty serious piece of software. And now it’s at least free as in beer.


If you are trying to learn the program, there are some starting instructions for an older version that should get you the basics. You can also find the user’s manual and a reference manual on the site.

We went looking for tutorials and found that [Kiss Analog] just started a set of video tutorials. There’s only one complete, so far (see below), but we are sure there will be more on the way.

If you’d rather do LTSpice, we have a tutorial. Then again, for just playing around, the Falstad simulator is pretty nice and requires no installation.