NI and Mouser Throw Curveball into PCB Design Ring

This is big news. Really big, and not just because there’s a new PCB Design program or because it’s sponsored by Mouser and… free.

It’s big news that it’s an increasingly good time to be an electronics maker, and the big names in the industry are noticing. Mouser recently announced a free version of National Instrument’s MultiSIM Circuit design and testing software.

The new version is called MultiSIM BLUE. Details pertaining to this specific release are slim, but presumably BLUE will feature all of the circuit design and testing capabilities of MultiSIM, including SPICE simulation.I don’t expect any surprises in terms of capability, rather there may be limitations to look out for. A Reddit thread comment hints at a 50 component limit. This is probably enough for small to mid-sized projects, but it strictly depends on whether passives are included and if the limit is counting unique components.

I haven’t personally reviewed MultiSIM, but National Instruments makes serious software. If BLUE is up to snuff with its commercial counterpart, then be prepared for a very impressive and comprehensive design experience. Even if the PCB design component isn’t a radical departure from other free alternatives (see our DesignSpark review), the addition of circuit design and SPICE simulation wrapped into the package makes this a powerful offering.

Interested in the release date? Well, it’s probably soon, but you can find out for certain if you sign up on Mouser’s website