Commercial circuit simulator, Micro-Cap 12, now a free download

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Grayhat, who writes:

Maybe it’s old news for you, I just discovered it and thought you may
be interested, the commercial circuit simulator “Micro-Cap 12” which
was sold at around $4,500 for each license is now *free*, I found the
information here along with some further details:

The decision of releasing it as freeware seems to be related to the
fact that the company selling it (Spectrum Software) closed (not sure
for the reasons); anyhow, since the site or the download link may
disappear in some time, I think it would be a good idea to pick a copy
of the software, the full CD image including the program, libraries and
everything else can be downloaded from this page

Thank you for the tip! I agree with you about grabbing a full install of the application while you can!

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5 thoughts on “Commercial circuit simulator, Micro-Cap 12, now a free download

  1. RonF

    Yeah, that happened quite a while ago (August?). Hackaday are slow off the mark on a lot of things lately…

    I understand the company was something of a one-man-band, and the owner has decided to retire. That’s been happening a lot lately, as the people who came in at the start of the early 80’s software boom have aged out. SuperSpice – – another electronics sim from around the same era also announced they were stopping development & releasing it as Freeware at much the same time.

    1. Paul Evans

      Yeah, back in that era (prior to HP-MDS) THE software to use was Touchstone, which actually ran on early IBM PCs (and later HP Vectra clones). After several takeovers, it went the same route, with the early modelling team having now reached retirement age (Ray Pengelly and Ulrich Rhode being included amongst them).

  2. Paul Evans

    It shows the increased power and performance achieved over the years. The last time I bought such a system it cost >$200,000!! It was 1991 and all HP (when HP was REALLY HP!), HP-MDS (microwave design software) and HP-HFSS (high frequency simulation system) running under HP-UX (their UNIX) on a 68040 server with 5x 68030 clients. The software alone, if I recall correctly, was >$100,000. It was the second such system delivered in the world and had problems, which I fixed with HP engineers flown into the UK from California because they couldn’t reproduce the issues…… No freeware or OSS back then (except for UNIX itself). However, for 200MHz hardware it really did perform extremely well and it has taken many years for performance to catch up (the advent of multiple cores from Intel was the game changer).

  3. Andrew

    Just a note, since the Windows “Program Files” (or “Program Files (x86)”) folder is write protected and since the program needs to write into its installation folder, it will be a good idea changing the program’s installation path to something else (e.g. “c:\MicroCap”) to avoid issues


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