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This module provides a brief introduction to electrical and electronic components available in National Instruments Multisim. Multisim is fully featured SPICE schematic capture and simulation tool used for circuit design, simulation, and in combination with Ultiboard for layout of custom PCBs.


Components overview

Components comprise the basis for any schematic. A component is any part that can be placed onto theschematic. Multisim defines two broad categories of parts: real and virtual. It is important to understand the difference between theseparts, in order to fully utilize their advantages.

Real components can be differentiated from virtual parts because real components have a specific value thatcannot be changed, and a PCB footprint.

Virtual components are simulation-only components, which can be assigned user-defined characteristics. Forexample, a virtual resistor can take on any resistance (such as 3.86654 Ohms). Virtual components help designers to checkcalculations by simulating designs with precise component values. Virtual components can also be idealized components such as the4-pin Hex display shown in Figure 1.

Multisim also provides other classifications of components: analog, digital, mixed-mode, animated, interactive,multi-section digital, electromechanical, and radio-frequency (RF) components.

Various Component Symbols: 7-Segment Display, Diode D1, Voltage Source V1, NAND gate U2A,Microcontroller U3 and Transistor Q1

Interactive components

Multisim provides a method for interacting with certain components that are placed on the schematic. Changesto these components will affect the simulation results on-the-fly. Components are controlled by pressing the key listed beside thecomponent.

For the components shown in Figure 2 below, pressing the A keywill increase the resistance of the potentiometertoward 100% of the shown value (1kΩ); to decrease the resistance, hold the Shift key then press the A key. Pressing the Spacebar willtoggle the switch to be either closed or open.

The keyboard shortcut key can be changed by double-clicking on the component, and choosing the desired key fromthe drop-down box as shown below.

Examples Interactive Components

Component characteristics

The following fields are visible from the Component Browser.

Component Information

The component browser

The Component Browser is used to select components for placement onto the schematic. To access theComponent Browser, click on any icon in the parts bin, or select Place/Component. The default keyboard shortcut to place a componentis Ctrl-W.Double-click on the desired component to place it on the schematic. The component will“ghost”the mouse cursor until the left mouse button is clicked again to place the component.

The Parts Bin or Component Toolbar
The Component Browser

To search this view, simply start typing the name of the desired component, and the browser will automaticallydisplay matching candidate parts. Optionally, for a more detailed search, click on the Search button.

The Component Browser shows the current database in which the displayed parts are stored. Multisimorganizes the parts by group, and family. The browser also shows the symbol, a description of the component in the Function field,the model, and the footprint / manufacturer.

The wildcard character‘*’can be used to match any set of characters. For example“LM*78”would match components“LM*AD”would return both“LM101AD”and“LM108AD”, among others.

Note:Any component may have multiple models associated with it. Each model may account for varying physicalcharacteristics of the component. For example, the LM358M opamp has five visible pins, but only three of them are used in one model,ignoring the power supply terminals. More information about models can be found by selecting the desired model from the ModelManuf.\ID field, and click on the Model button.


There are three levels of database provided by Multisim:

  • The Master Database is read-only, and contains components supplied by Electronics Workbench.
  • The User Database is private to the individual user logged onto the computer. It is used for components built by an individualthat are not intended to be shared.
  • The Corporate Database is used to store custom components that are intended to be shared across an organization. TheCorporate Database can be shared on a network.

Database management tools are supplied in order to move components between databases, merge databases, andedit them. All the databases are divided into groups and then into families within those groups. When a designer chooses a componentfrom the database and drops it onto the circuit, a copy of the component is placed onto the circuit. Any edits made to thecomponent in the circuit do not affect the original database copy.

Edits made to the component in the database do not affect the previously placed components, but will affect allsubsequently placed components of that type. When a circuit is saved, component information is saved in the Multisim file. Onload, the user has the option to keep the loaded parts as is, to make copies to place into their user or corporate database, or toupdate similarly-named components with the latest values from the database. Note: The Database Manager can be opened by selecting Tools/Database/Database Manager. To edit Master Database parts,copy them to the User or Corporate Database.

Database Manager

Creating custom components

Multisim includes the ability to create and edit components to satisfy the needs of any design. The two methodsavailable are the Component Wizard, and the Component Properties dialog box.

To access the Component Wizard, select Tools/Component Wizard. The component wizard allows designers toenter all pertinent component information, such as symbol, and SPICE model (Figure 7).

To access the Component Properties dialog box, double-click on a placed component, click on the Value tab, andclick the Edit Component in DB button (Figure 8).

Component Wizard

Component Properties Dialog Box

More details on creating custom components are available in the helpfiles.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to multisim schematic capture and spice simulation. OpenStax CNX. Sep 26, 2006 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10369/1.3
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