Atanua - real time logic simulator

Sol_HSA 119 Mar 28, 2008 at 15:00


As my final year project at school, I wrote a real-time logic simulator, called Atanua.

Atanua has an intuitive, OpenGL accelerated user interface, with which the user can place components and wires. Components include all common logic blocks, including gates, latches and flipflops. Additionally Atanua simulates about 30 different 74-series chips, as well as an 8051 microcontroller variant. Simulated and pure logic parts can be mixed in the same circuit. On the I/O front, Atanua includes several different frequency clock inputs, constant level inputs as well as buttons that are bound to the user’s keyboard. LEDs in various colors as well as 7-segment displays are also included. There is also a simple logic probe for debugging.

The simulated parts are designed to resemble their real-world counterparts, which is more attractive for the students than pure schematics. The students can practice lab experiments using the simulated chips. The simulation shows the signal state of each wire in real time. In addition to high and low signal level, parts may output “invalid” signal, stating that there is a problem with the circuit, such as outputs connected together, or missing wirings from some chip.

Additional parts can be made using the plug-in interface. As an example plug-in, a driver for the Velleman K8055 USB experiment board is provided, with which the user can mix simulated and real-world components. An anti-cheating tool is also available for teachers who wish to use Atanua for homework.

Available at for win32, OSX and Linux, free for personal use.

5 Replies

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vrnunes 102 Mar 28, 2008 at 19:53

Wow, I like very much this kind of app, will be downloading my free copy for sure, thanks!

I cannot consider myself an electronic professional, but I like to experiment with digital circuits. :-)

Last time I used something like this it was DOS era, and those dinos were cool to prototype.


TheNut 179 Mar 30, 2008 at 13:01

Damn, if only this were available several years ago when I was doing electrical engineering labs! This would have saved me hours from having to go in! Shucks!

Good job Sol, I can see this being extremely useful for students and electrical engineers alike. I trust you got 100% on this project? I wouldn’t accept any less ;)

Sol_HSA 119 Mar 30, 2008 at 18:30

“Damn, if only this were available several years ago when I was doing electrical engineering labs!”

I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve heard that =)

Nils_Pipenbrinck 101 Mar 30, 2008 at 18:35

aehm. programs like this existed for years.

The first one I have seen run on a C64 and did all the graphics in text-mode. It was cool to tinker with it, but it lacked some things like multiplexers ect.

Sol_HSA 119 Mar 30, 2008 at 19:59

“aehm. programs like this existed for years.”

Yes, I trust all of them have a particle system too.

Most circuit simulators are rather complicated (and expensive) as they bother with things like laws of physics or capabilities to output a netlist that might actually work, etc. This one was designed to have as low learning curve as possible so that you can have fun playing around with the parts.

So yes, it’s not the first, but it’s a new twist on the theme.