What is NL5? back to top
NL5 is an analog electronic circuit simulator working with ideal and piecewise-linear components. The first version of NL simulator for personal computers was developed in the early ‘90s as a tool for switching power supplies design. Since then NL has evolved into the Microsoft Windows®-based tool, which is being used extensively by world-class engineers in different fields of electronics for almost 15 years. The first publicly available version, NL5, was released in 2009.
How does NL5 work? back to top
While conventional SPICE-based simulators are trying to perform accurate simulation using "real" models of non-linear components with dozens of parameters, NL5 is using an opposite approach. Instead of complex models, it offers very simple "ideal" components. more...
Why "ideal" components? back to top
There are many advantages of using "ideal" components in circuit simulation.
If "real" parts are used, each one adds a lot of "variables" in the system equations: parasitic capacitance and inductance, leakage, offsets, on/off resistance, limited gain and bandwidth, etc. All of them are considered in the simulation process, which makes it extremely complex, slow, and very often non-reliable. more...
NL5 vs. SPICE back to top
One might think that dealing with such simple components must be a very simple task, so why not use “ideal” components in SPICE? Unfortunately, that’s not possible.
SPICE algorithm has been initially designed to perform accurate simulation of "real" integrated circuits, and it does that very well. However, "ideal" components may cause quite specific operating conditions, which almost never exist in “real” life: floating nodes, voltage loops, current cut-sets, to name a few. It happened that a standard SPICE algorithm has inherent limitations, which prevent it from dealing with such conditions. more...
Who can use NL5? back to top
NL5 perfectly fits the needs of all users, regardless of their experience, interests, and expectations.
NL5 is ideal for novices and students studying electronics. The learning curve is negligibly short: basic knowledge of the Windows® operating system is all that’s needed to start working with NL5. A friendly and intuitive interface allows fast modifying of the schematic, even “on-the-fly” editing while the simulation is running, thus giving instant answers to “what if …?” questions. more...