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How to Create a LabVIEW Based Virtual Instrument for NI Multisim

NI Employee (retired)

Hello Circuit Designers,


Today I want to highlight a relatively new Multisim feature using interactive simulation that you may not know of. A virtual instrument created in LabVIEW can be used to connect real-world signals to Multisim or output simulation data to drive real-world circuitry. You can build either an input instrument where Multisim inputs data to a LabVIEW instrument or an output instrument in which LabVIEW outputs data to Multisim.


LabView VI in Multisim.jpg


A LabVIEW input instrument continuously receives data from Multisim while the simulation is running. You can then connect simulation results to real-world I/O such as DAQ, GPIB, Serial, File, and the like. A LabVIEW output instrument uses data that is acquired beforehand which is then used when the simulation is running. This means that data acquisition has to take place before you start a SPICE simulation (for example, first record data with the microphone and then start the simulation).


To create a LabVIEW virtual instrument for use in Multisim you use LabVIEW to create a Front Panel with the appropriate controls, coding and save as a custom instrument. Then, using Multisim you place the new custom instrument on your schematic, connect the terminals and run your simulation.


In order to simulate with a custom LabVIEW instrument you will require Multisim version 12.0 or later and LabVIEW 8.x or later to create the virtual instruments that you will use. You only need LabVIEW to create the instrument. LabVIEW does not need to be installed on the machine where you intend to run Multisim. 


Let me know if you have any feedback or questions on this or any other Multisim topics.


Campbell B


National Instruments