Electronic Products & Technology


National Instruments Acquires Electronics Workbench

TORONTO ? National Instruments (NI) has acquired Electronics Workbench, a supplier of electronics design automation software.The Electronics Workbench flagship product, Multisim circuit simulation software, is used for electronic circuit design, board layout and electrical engineering training programs by companies and academic institutions including Sony, Boeing, MIT and DeVry. According to NI, the acquisition strengthens the integration between functional test and design tools and will advance graphical system design technology.

 ?Our customers are not satisfied with the integration of design, simulation and test tools in the industry today,? said Ray Almgren, NI vice-president of product marketing and academic relations. ?A graphical system design platform that integrates these disparate tools will increase productivity and make testing throughout the design process more seamless. Our acquisition of Electronics Workbench is a major step forward in making this vision a reality and satisfying the needs of the design engineering community in industry and academia.? 

Electronics Workbench?s circuit board design system incorporates schematic capture and patented co-simulation of analog and digital circuits using SPICE and VHDL.For several years, Electronics Workbench and National Instruments have collaborated to integrate Multisim with the NI Labview graphical development environment through downloadable software and technical resources to help engineers design, simulate and validate electronic circuits. The Electronics Workbench acquisition adds graphical design and simulation software to the NI platform of graphical development tools.

 ?We migrated to Multisim last year because it is a superior tool for teaching electronic circuits and because students can use it to easily integrate their simulations into Labview,? said Dr. Archie Holmes, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, one of the leading institutions for engineering education. ?The complex design of current and future systems demands a higher level of integration among design, simulation and test tools. This acquisition provides a closer link among these tools, which helps us prepare our students to serve the market.?

NI will retain all Electronics Workbench employees and continue to operate the company as a separate entity. NI and Electronics Workbench development teams will work to further integrate the products and knowledge of the two companies. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of NI, Electronics Workbench plans to continue to develop and offer its complete line of design automation software and directly support educational initiatives with uninterrupted support to participating schools. The acquisition is not expected to have a material impact on NI?s earnings for the first quarter of 2005.

Electronics Workbench?s circuit board design system incorporates schematic capture; patented co-simulation of analog and digital circuits using SPICE and VHDL.