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I've been reading up on some old tech manuals and found that apparently some IC chips where designed and tested in BASIC. While I already have a copy of Eagle and fritzing these are more for board designs and not IC development. So as the title asks, what would the best way to go about designing and testing hardware before even laying down any solder?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you developing IC's, or just their use in PCB/circuit design? \$\endgroup\$ – helloworld922 Sep 11 '12 at 23:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ You may want to consider the Falstad Circuit Simulator. falstad.com/circuit I really like it, but I am a beginner to EE. \$\endgroup\$ – capcom Sep 11 '12 at 23:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @helloworld922 This would be more an IC development workshop I want to hold at my hackerspace than for PCB work. \$\endgroup\$ – Dwight Spencer Sep 28 '12 at 14:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @capcom Thanks for the link, Falstad looks promising I'll have to play with it to see how much different from Eagle it is. \$\endgroup\$ – Dwight Spencer Sep 29 '12 at 11:38
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If you are asking this question, I think designing ICs may be jumping a bit too far into the deep end as the first step.

For virtually testing circuits, consider simulation software such as a VHDL/Verilog simulator (for logic) or Spice (for analog).

When you say "tested in BASIC", I would interpret that as "simulated using a simulator written in BASIC".

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    \$\begingroup\$ Take a look at my edit, trying to make it read a bit more kindly @Brian \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Sep 12 '12 at 5:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Brian In honesty, its not meant for first steps. I have worked on ardinos and built a few old school pc systems from scratch name PIC DIY PCs. So, while was reading on the history of the ARM and PIC chips (hence the reference to the BASIC programming language). This got me thinking about some IC concepts I have been wanting to work on to improve the Arduino systems and a couple ideas around DIY Satellites. \$\endgroup\$ – Dwight Spencer Sep 29 '12 at 11:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Brian Thanks fro the suggestion of Verilog and Spice. while good ideas they are defently "Word of god" style of development Most Hackerspace members are not interested in. But I did get to check into B2 Spice from bieglebag and that works for the most part. Just was hoping to find a reason to dust off my old GW-BASIC instead of trying to learn another language to my long list. \$\endgroup\$ – Dwight Spencer Sep 29 '12 at 11:50

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