MultiSIM comes free in Mouser’s blue
Mouser wouldn’t say if it subsidized this custom-made version to give it free to users or if it was purely designed as a win-win deal between the two companies.
But while Mouser will certainly benefit from NI’s large Multisim user base (cumulating over ten thousand circuit designers and about a hundred thousand engineering students), what’s in for National Instrument is added visibility across the distributor’s customer base (over 317,000 and growing at a pace of 800 new customers per day) combined with an easy upgrade path from the free blue version to more complete commercial versions.
The custom made PCB design integration tool utilizes the Berkeley SPICE engine and includes a preloaded component library of over 100,000 frequently used components from multiple Mouser databases, that’s five times the number of components available on all of NI’s commercial versions and a convincing argument for engineers willing to have as much flexibility as possible.
The tool supports pre-layout design convergence analysis and mixed-signal simulation, and can handle components as complex as BGAs with over 1000 pins on pin-pitches down to 0.8mm. MultiSIM BLUE also provides a 3D visualization of the PCB with no limits on the shape and size of the PCB. The PCB layout function is compatible with standard output file types including Gerber 274X and 274D, DXF, 3D DXF, 3D IGES and IPC-D-356A Netlist for easy design output and verification.
Another feature of Mouser’s blue version, the integrated BOM-to-Cart button could save engineers hours on each design as this function automatically populates the shopping cart based on the design, preventing mistakes.
One of the limitations of this free tool (versus USD 850 for the Multisim Base version and USD 6000 for the Power Pro version) is the number of components one can design with, limited to 50 parts on a board including two custom parts.
“We are negociating with NI to increase that number” told us Mouser’s senior VP of EMEA and APAC Business, Mark Burr-Lonnon during a press conference in London.
“We are probably last on the market to offer a free design tool” admitted Raymond Yin, responsible for technical content at Mouser Electronics, “but we wanted to find the right partner and NI was the only one to integrate simulation”.
“Our competitors’ free tools don’t integrate the simulation and analysis tools that we do, they only output a netlist to export to 3rd party simulation tools” he added.
Instead Mouser offers an entire tool chain where engineers begin with circuit design and once simulation is done and the design is validated, their shopping cart is ready for them to buy in one click all what they need.
With this tool, the company which aims to be the design fulfilment distributor of choice hopes to maintain its double digit growth. 2014 was another record year for Mouser, with overall business levels running 30% higher than in 2013. The good news is that EMEA leads the way, with sales up 41% (50% in Germany, 44% in Italy, 40% in the UK, 38% in both France and Scandinavia).
“The lowest growth we had in Europe over the last five years was 30%, eating into the share of competitors”, commented Burr-Lonnon. “We are growing faster than the overall distribution market. Typically, that means a lot design activities and it is unlikely that the market will dive” he added.
With over 280 customer support locations across the globe, Mouser boasts first-class service with real persons picking up the phone within one ring. “With over 14.7 million products looked up every day on our websites, we view ourselves as a marketing engine more than a distributor”, confessed Burr-Lonnon, emphasizing Mouser’s focus on design-in support.
MultiSIM BLUE will be available free globally as from the first week of October, in English and German as well as Simplified Chinese.
Get the Mouser design integration tool at www.mouser.cn/MultiSimBlue
Visit Mouser Electronics at www.mouser.co