Proteus isn't a name that rings a bell. If you work in the medical field you've probably heard of it because it's a bacteria genre that includes different species such as mirabilis or vulgaris that reside in our digestive tract. But beyond microbiology, in the software sector, it turns out to be one of the most acclaimed electronic design programs by engineering students and electronics professionals, capable of offering us an advanced simulation of electronic circuits and microprocessors.
Electronic design and simulation from your PC.
It's one of the most complete electronic tool packs on the market as in its version 8.5 (the newest of them all), it allows us to create from our PC all sorts of PCBs or printed circuit boards using almost 800 different microprocessors, and simulate their real-life functioning straight from the circuit's schematics. And as couldn't be otherwise taking into account modern times, it integrates tools with which we can design and simulate within the Arduino environment, one of the most popular boards at present.
The main components of Proteus Design Suite
This software includes two main components around which the program's entire functioning revolves:
- ISIS: the acronym of Intelligent Schematic Input System. The program that allows us to carry out the electric design of the circuit, including all sorts of components such as resistors, coils, capacitors, power supplies and even microprocessors.
- ARES: the acronym of Advanced Routing and Editing Software. It's the tool aimed at the design of printed circuit boards or PCBs, with routing, location and editing functions for electronic components.
Where can I download ISIS and ARES? Well, you can't get hold of them as standalone applications, so to be able to make the most of all their features you'll have to get hold of the full version of Proteus that, despite having to pay for it, comes along with a trial version of the official Labcenter Electronics website so that you can try out all its functions before deciding whether to purchase it or not.
Apart from these two programs, this software comes along with different modules like VSM that, integrated into ISIS, allows us to simulate different features of integrated circuits in real-time, or Electra, the self-routing module that allows us to trace routes automatically between components, searching for the optimal path to improve the circuit's speed.
Which one's better? Proteus or Multisim?
That's the eternal doubt for students and electronics professionals when it comes to choosing a program to simulate electronic circuits and, as always, there's no such thing as a universal answer that satisfies them all because it basically depends on the use given to the application.
For instance, if you're looking for a program for the analog and digital simulation of circuits, the product developed by National Instruments Corporation may suit your needs since it's the best software in this category. However, if you're more into simulating microprocessors, Multisim probably lacks the basics you're looking for and that's where Proteus comes in since it includes loads of libraries that allow you to simulate different models. So each one is good at different things and it's up to you to choose.