A profile of Intusoft, a former sponsor of the SMPS Technology website.


Intusoft was a sponsor of the SMPS Technology website from August 27, 2000 to September 30, 2002. Sponsors appeared on this website by invitation only. The selection criteria was that I had used the product and believed in its value for power supply designers. Although there is no longer any financial involvement between us, nothing has changed in my viewpoint, so I am leaving this page pretty much as originally written. What follows is a factual account of my experience with the product. Yours may be different.

Intusoft was founded in March 1985 by president Lawrence G. Meares. I first met Larry in the late 1970's when he was a manager at McDonnell Douglas (I was at the Naval Ocean System Center and reviewed a power supply his unit was designing.) I was impressed with both the power supply design and the ad hoc microprocessor controller he designed that made efficiency and other power supply breadboard measurements. When Intusoft came into existence, I bought a $99 version of IsSpice (Intusoft's version of SPICE) for myself, and later, a full version of ICAP (Integrated Circuit Analysis Program) for my employer. I have purchased and used ICAP at various companies since then and always found it to be on the leading edge for power supply designers.

Why has it been the leading-edge SPICE program for power supply designers? In my opinion, because Larry Meares, having designed power supplies, was aware of the pitfalls of simulating switching-mode power supplies from the beginning and developed the features and set the defaults so the program worked with these circuits. Intusoft was also first to develop many model types needed to simulate power supplies. What I found is that IsSpice worked with my switching-mode power supply circuits while other SPICE programs blew up or took much longer to get any results -- and when I needed a model type for a power supply component, Intusoft usually had one.

Intusoft has continued to look after the needs of the switching-mode power supply designers as shown by their current Power Supply Designer package. This package consists of ICAP, the integrated SPICE simulation program, Magnetics Designer, a magnetics design program that generates the magnetic design and a SPICE model, and Power Designer Library, a library of power electronic component models that augments the extensive ICAP model libraries. Also included are two books with models and examples. To find out how Intusoft's ICAP compares with other SPICE programs, read a comparison.

Intusoft has always shared their expertise with free and low cost information and programs and has established a graduated cost profile for buying software with generous update policies that make it easy to own a version of their software. If you are a power supply designer who is unfamiliar with Intusoft products, start by requesting a free demo disk or downloading the demo files. Then download their free free chapters in PDF form of, "Power Specialist's App Note Book", which contains over 35 technical articles on power supply design and power electronics modeling. You will find many other free and low cost items that will help you with your design task, no matter what simulation program you use. The newsletters are especially helpful. Intusoft also offers a variety of books on Spice for sale, including the new book Switch-Mode Power Supply SPICE Cookbook by Christophe P. Basso. Take the time to explore the Intusoft website. I especially like to navigate from their fast-loading site map.

Author: Jerrold Foutz, foutz@smpstech.com
Original: August 21, 2000, revised July 27, 2003