Matlab cost, is it worth it? (Capabilities, uses, and everything one needs to know)

By: Mahmuda Afreen / Read more about us.

Among all of the software that has calculation, modeling, labeling, and processing of different types of data, and so on, Matlab is the wonder that will always have a great impact in this technological world. As for using it, one can use the free trial for one or two months and can use the online version with limited products and time.

However, for using every product, tool, and feature of it one will have to pay. Matlab’s cost will be different for four different packages. The highest is the standard which is $2,350 for a Perpetual and $940 for an Annual license. Provided Studentpackage has the lowest range giving two options, basic costing $29 and suite is for $55.

They have to choose which package is suitable for them and provide relevant authentic information to get it. Furthermore, all the authentic and useful information about the topic is illustrated below.

Matlab cost

Matlab cost of Different Types

Whether one is a student, an engineer, or a scientist in the field of science, Matlab or Matrix Laboratory is one of the famous names they hear and use. However, many misunderstand this as only a Programming language since it started its journey being a simple matrix language.

Well, MatLab is a programming as well as a numeric computing environment. Therefore, if one wants to use this environment one needs to use the Matlab programming language. However, it is possible to use C, C++, and python but they will have to generate the code using algorithms and Simulink. Most of all, the specific language is Matlab. For any command, they will have to use that.

For example,

a = 3;

b = a*a;

d = sqrt(a);

c = a*a*a;

fprintf(‘%4u square equals %4u \r’, a, b)

fprintf(‘%4u cube equals %4u \r’, a, c)

fprintf(‘The square root of %2u is %6.4f \r’, a, d)

If one wants to do some simple mathematical calculation like square root or cube, the written code in that language will look like this,

Because of the huge use and benefits, educational, research institutions, business organizations, defense, and many industries use this software. If one wants to use MatLab and Simulink, one will have three different options. In this part, we will be discussing those.

How to get Matlab? Is it costly?

Well, the expense will depend on the intention of the user. For example, if one wants to use Matlab for a few days for any specific project, one can use the free trial of the software. For that, they will not have to pay anything.

But they will get not more than 70 products with MatLab and Simulink. In this free trial, they can use it for 30 days. The good thing is they can extend the time to more than 30 days if necessary by contacting the authority.

Many people do not have the environment to install the software. Because of the heavy use and loads of functionalities, its size of it is huge. If the system is not strong then they cannot run Matlab in it. Specifically, the size of this software will be different for different platforms.

Operating SystemSize
Windows 10, Windows 7 SP1, Windows Server 2019 & 201619GB
macOS 10.14.6 +17GB
License File1KB
Table: Sizing specification of Matlab for the different operating systems

As we can see that the file will be 19 GB for windows and 18 GB for Linux. If the device is a desktop or laptop, if it is not configured with at least 8GB RAM, 1TB hard disk, and more, it will be hard to even install the software.

Sadly, not every one of us can afford a strong gadget to work with MatLab including other software and things. That is why MatLab come up with a wonderful system that is open for all, the online version of MatLab.

Using this users do not have to download and install Matlab and Simulink on their hardware. Moreover, they can collaborate with other people by sharing their work. Besides, they can save and store their work in the cloud to use it anytime from anywhere.

If one is to compare the online version with the Desktop, we will say there is no comparison between these two. Because many of those cannot replace one another. Even though one will get the latest version of MatLab with good speed, it cannot be a replacement for the desktop version.

One of the significant differences between online and Desktop versions is the period of use. Even though the desktop version has no limit, the online version is. Let’s see what MathWorks say,

 MATLAB Online (basic)MATLAB Online
Toolboxes included10 commonly used productsAll licensed products
Hours per month20 hours per calendar monthUnlimited
Storage5 GB20 GB
Continuous compute time15 minutes90 minutes
Table: Matlab online vs. Desktop

The last option for using MatLab is buying the license by paying the asking amount. The authority of MathWorks has already mentioned the price range for a different organization.

One will just have to go to their official website, select the package, pay for it and get the software ready to download and use. There are four options to choose which have different pricing. Those are,

Standard– USD 2,350 for a Perpetual license – USD 940 for an Annual license
Education– USD 550 for a Perpetual license – USD 275 for an Annual license
Home-USD 95
Students-USD 29 for a Student license -USD 55 for the Student suite license
Table: Matlab online vs. Desktop

With a perpetual license, one can buy the software for an indefinite time. However, they will have to pay a maintenance fee after 12 months of buying annually. On the other hand, one can buy it for a fixed period which is 12 months.

As we can see in the table, the standard perpetual license price will be $2350, and the annual license price will be $940. However, it is quite low for an educational institute with the amount of $550 and $275 respectively. For students, it is not free, but the amount is affordable and too low compared to the other options.

One has to remember that they will have to use authentic information like educational institution email or organizational email while buying. That will be an identification of the status of the person which will help them give the category.

Seeing the pricing one may ask the question of whether it is worth it or not. Well, Matlab always has the second option. One can use the free trial or the online version with limited products and tools. After that, they can realize the worthiness of it by themselves.

Even though this platform is intense with an advanced work environment and solutions for the toughest and most complex problem would have, if the person does not have enough knowledge they cannot use the resources Matlab has.

Moreover, readers should have a look below and read all the details I have gathered from my experience working with Matlab for more than 5 years.

All the amazing things we can do in Matlab

Anyone with basic knowledge of this specific language can do various work like modeling, analyzing, creating strong data visualization graphs, and so on. It was initially created back in 1970 by MathWorks. Moreover, Cleve Moler, a mathematician and a computer programming language specializer designed this platform. This talented man start the journey based on a thesis back in 1960.

The aim of the development was to help his students in their studies. After some period it becomes one of the sensational platforms for all types of engineers, scientists, and mathematicians. At present date, more than 5 million users use this software.

In this simulator, one will have to use the proprietary multiparadigm programming language MatLab to code for different purposes. Specifically, Engineers and Scientists highly use this software to compute different factors in 2D and 3D formats. It is always an interesting question to answer what can one do with MatLab?

Surprisingly, the capabilities of this intense discovery are beyond imagination. Working with this one will find no limitations. Below, we will try to give a proper understanding of the most useful areas.

Industries that use Matlab

Different industries that need to analyze big data, create modeling against those data, advance data visualization, simulation, and other relevant work highly depend on Matlab.

As we already know that this is one of the most efficient and accurate yet easy-to-use platforms, and many industries use this for advanced and significant work. Let’s get an idea about the industries.

1. Aerospace and Defense

Antenna and RF design with Matlab
source: Antenna and RF design with Matlab

From prototypes to the most important segment of safety and mission-critical system, aerospace and defense highly rely on this software worldwide. They use it in almost all domains such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and Mars Exploration Rover. The specific areas are,

Space System

MATLAB and Simulink helped aerospace engineers to fasten the design and development process. It builds a good communication system among them to do

  • 1. Mission Validation.
  • 2. System-level Monte Carlo Simulations.
  • 3. Trade study for spacecraft sizing and hardware selection.
  • 4. Telemetry and payload data analysis.
  • 5. Design details of overall guidance, navigation, and control algorithm (GNC).
  • 5. Design power electronic components and Photo Voltaic power subsystems.
  • 6. They can generate embedded code in different programming languages (C and C++) for space-related functions.
  • 7. Validation and verifications for flight software.

Rader System

Rader engineers in this industry use this simulator to improve the pace of radar systems. They use it to process radar signals algorithm, data processing, and control. Specifically, they perform,

  • 1. Feasibility studies, create 3D terrain to predict system performance and analyze data.
  • 2. Design, analyze, integrate, and visualize the radar system architecture, antenna elements and arrays, and RF components.
  • 3. Design and test multifunction and multisensor
  • 4. Create code for prototyping
  • 5. Synthesize data and train deep learning models for a different purpose.

Autonomous underwater vehicles

Highly accurate analyses of the workflow of underwater vehicles using the data retrieved from radars and machines. From modeling the system, designing the platform, and designing the algorithm it is used in every prospect where there is a calculation involved.

Model and Visualize Complex 3D of autonomous underwater vehicles
source: Model and Visualize Complex 3D of autonomous underwater vehicles

2. Energy Production

In this industry, they use Matlab for developing and implementing models. Also, it is used for analyzing big data and automating the process. The focused areas are,

1. Utilities and energy

Performed system feasibility and grid integration using the prebuilt functions. Also, analyze real-time data to provide models and predictions. Moreover, it develops energy trading and risk management solutions by optimizing algorithms for machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL).

2. Chemical and Petrochemicals

It applies high-speed sensor data to develop a prediction on the maintenance system. Also, it uses ML to find out troubleshoot and use data modeling to improve process performance and many more.

3. Oil and gas

The main purpose is to model the drilling equipment based on different circumstances. Also, it analyzes the data of drilling locations to provide validation and calculate risk management along with other simulations.

source: Seismic data analysis using Matlab

3. Quantitative Finance and Risk Management

Normally, we use different software like MS Excel to analyze financial data. However, to calculate more intensely with 3D modeling and to calculate risk management we need something more advance like Matlab.

This highly reliable and accurate system will calculate risk and model risk management. Also, the overall data of finance can be visualized to get a better understanding. Along with that, one can use ML techniques to do sentiment, credit analysis, asset allocation, fraud detection, and many more.

4. Automotive

Matlab is one of the significant parts of the present and the future of the automotive industry. Having at least basic knowledge, one must know that this industry requires modeling, analysis, and testing figure of every single part and pattern before it goes to production and the market. It is used in the,

1. Automotive Driving

One can access the live data of driving to visualize and label the data using different tools. It helps them analyze the automatic driving of a system and simulate the driving scenario. Moreover, one can design different algorithms for planning, process, integrating, testing, and other things to calculate. 

2. Virtual Vehicle

The most important usability of Matlab in the automotive industry is designing virtual vehicles. The parameters involved powertrain and vehicle dynamics. One can use those to analyze energy optimization, fuel economy, thermal, and many more.

One can use prebuild algorithm in the embedded software to measure the overall performance. Moreover, testing the model and finalizing the model are the steps before going for implementation physically.

3. Electric Vehicle (EV)

Users can use this platform to design complex EV architecture and optimize systems using Model-Based System Engineering. One can model the batteries, fuel cell system, traction motors, and their management and control units. Moreover, Matlab can generate testing algorithms and data-driven workflow using AI.

5. Industrial Automation and Machinery

Engineers in this sector use model-based Matlab to design and test machine controls and supervisory logic. They also run automatic tests on the functionalities of the equipment before making them.

It is important that they get ensure the sizing and positive functionalities before production to cut down on waste. The focused areas are,

  • 1. Power Generation and Transmission Equipment
  • 2. Machine Builders
  • 3. Building Automation
  • 4. Electric Drives and Automation Components

6. Railway System

The railway engineers also use the model-based design system of Matlab to analyze real-time data. A high-integrity model is necessary for real-time analysis, which is not possible using the traditional method. So, it is more effective and convenient to use Matlab instead.

7. Biotech and Pharmaceutical

The initial work of this sector in Matlab is hybridizing the data from different sources of different formats including signal, image, text, and genetic model. Using process engineering one can analyze the production as well as perform modeling and simulation possible of new drug development.

Moreover, new medical devices can be used in the other area we have described above. In developing an algorithm one can design, test, and control it before making it.

A control algorithm and supervisory logic for EV using Matlab
source: A control algorithm and supervisory logic for EV using Matlab

The medical devices are,

  • 1. Therapeutic Devices
  • 2. Medical Imaging
  • 3. Patient Monitoring
  • 4. Hearing Aids
  • 5. Surgical Devices
  • 6. in Vitro Diagnostic Devices
  • 7. FDA Software Validation

8. Computer Science (CS) and electrical and Electronics Engineering(EEE)

The use of this platform in computer science and EEE is intense. It is hardly findable any part of these two sectors that cannot be analyzed, develop, and tested using Matlab. One can design, develop algorithms, and analyze big data for software and the internet.

Also, one can design stable communication systems such as LAN and WAN using this accurately. Moreover, Matlab is widely popular in the EEE sector to design different electric devices, analyze digital signals, and so on.

Testing the behavior of an APP using Matlab GUI
source: Testing the behavior of an APP using Matlab GUI

We have covered all the industries which are listed as major users in the Matlab history. There are more industries and areas that use Matlab. We can say, the use of this intelligent system is so much more than we can imagine. Next, we will discuss the applications which have a great impact in this modern world.

Intense Application of Matlab

The applications of Matlab are huge and it almost has no boundaries in the relevant field. We have already mentioned the industries that use this Simulink. However, the use is beyond imagination since thousands of organizations, including educational institutions, use it for different purposes.

Well, we have found the most helpful and efficient application of MatLab in a different area. Mostly, those are engineering and calculative area for which MatLab is developed in the first place.

It is not that only mathematicians and engineers can use, as we said, the benefits of this specific platform are something we cannot line a border. Having enough knowledge of how this works, anyone in any field can use this for their benefit.

Application AreaDetails
Automatic Driving SystemIt will access, visualize, and label real-time data along with designing different algorithms for various purposes.
Image Processing and Computer VisionOne of the most accurate platforms for live image and video processing for Computer Vision, DL, and other filed collaborating with OpenCV, c/c++.
Power System Analysis and DesignOne can design and analyze different power systems including a vehicle power system. It is helpful for testing the total system and its performance before implementation.
Computational BiologyUsing data analysis and mathematical modeling in MathWorks the computational biologist can predict the biological behavior of different species.
Internet of ThingsSpecifically, this area is for IoT appliances and their predictive maintenance, operations optimization, control, and more using different tools, languages, and algorithms.
Predictive MaintenanceEngineers use a predictive maintenance toolbox to develop, deploy, and predict software performance, IT, and OT systems.
Control SystemThis system is used from designing the Plant to testing the validation and verification using a multi-domain block diagram, different algorithms, and tools.
Machine LearningMatlab makes it an easier process for various advanced ML approaches such as training, signal processing, data retraining, and so on using different tools.
RoboticsThe field of robotics is huge so does the use of Matlab and Simulink in this area. One can design figures, analyze the sensor data, provide decision algorithms, design control systems, and whatnot using MathWorks.
Data ScienceData Science becomes easier with all the tools of data analyzing, modeling, and predicting Mathworks. Almost every operation of this disciple is possible with this simulator.
MechatronicsHere, the Model-Based Design helps the engineers to design, simulate, and verify multidisciplinary mechatronics systems initially before development.
Signal processingMatlab is an unbeatable platform when it is processing signals whether it is analog or digital. Various tools, functions, and libraries are built to help engineers to process real-time signals for different purposes.
Deep LearningOne can use deep learning in different areas like Computer vision, signal processing, radar, LIDAR, and more to design algorithms, label data, and so on.
Mixed Signal SystemMixed-Signal Blockset, models of PLLs, ADCs, and other tools are used to design mixed-signal Ics in a highly accurate way.
Test and MeasurementsOne can connect different hardware with the system to measure and test the performance and other areas of sensors, circuits, and more.
Embedded SystemIt is to design algorithms and coeds using different libraries to verify the performance of the embedded system before development.
Power Electronic control designThis area is time-consuming and our MathWorks makes it 50% less time for consumers to help with the add-on toolbox and many other functions.
Wireless communicationBefore implementing the system, one can design the model and test it in Simulink for performance and faster processing. They can use advanced knowledge like DL and AI here for maximum accuracy.
Enterprise IT SystemAn organization based on IT has vast opportunities here, they can develop different models, build them, test them, etc., for the benefit of their company.
FPGA, ASIC, and SoC DevelopmentOne can develop a production prototype of the mentioned area to save time and minimize the waste of resources.
Table: Discussion of the applications of Matlab in different sectors

What type of tools and products of Matlab is used in different disciplines?

From physics to the medical field, the use of MathWorks wonder is everywhere. Depending on the task they want to perform, they have to use different types of tools including secondary tools and the production of MatLab.

For example, if one wants to design something, one will have to use the Model-based design toolbox. Moreover, one can use the existing algorithm, prototype, and codes to perform data analysis, 3D modeling, and more. Furthermore, the uses of Matlab by the common sectors are,

DisciplinesTools and productsThird-party Tools
Biological Science1. MATLAB
2. Curve Fitting Toolbox
3. Image Processing Toolbox
4. Deep Learning Toolbox
5. Computer Vision Toolbox
6. Simulink
7. SimBiology, and more
1. CERR, medical image processing, and treatment planning.
2. COBRA, biochemical constraint-based analysis
3. GIBBON, biophysics analysis
4. LOBSTER, a framework to analyze large microscopic images.
5. matRad, radiation modeling
Neuroscience1. Statistics and Machine Learning Toolbox
2. Deep Learning Toolbox
3. Parallel Computing Toolbox
4. MATLAB Parallel Server
5. Signal Processing Toolbox
6. Wavelet Toolbox
7. Computer Vision Toolbox
8. Image Processing Toolbox
9. Data Acquisition Toolbox
10. HDL Coder
11. Image Acquisition Toolbox 12. Simulink Real-Time
13. Stateflow
Physics1. EasySpin
2. Spinach
5. SpinW
6. GPELab
7. Accelerator Toolbox
8. MATLAB Middle Layer (MML)
10. CERR
11. matRad
13. k-Wave
14. Test and Measurement
15. Data Acquisition Toolbox
16. Statistics and Machine Learning Toolbox
17. Deep Learning toolbox
18. Symbolic Math Toolbox
19. App Designer
20. DSP System Toolbox
21. Predictive Maintenance Toolbox
22. HDL Coder
23. Optimization Toolbox
24. Simulink Real-Time
25. Image Processing Toolbox 26. MATLAB Compiler
27. Parallel Computing Toolbox
Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences1. Climate Data Toolbox for MATLAB
2. Deep Learning Toolbox
3. Image Processing Toolbox
4. Signal Processing, and so on.
Table: Different Tools and production of Matlab in different Disciplines

In biological science and neuroscience, one can use image processing, computer vision, and such toolbox for medical image processing and training a system by labeling data. They can also use other useful areas for planning treatment and analyzing the performance accuracy of different instruments.

Moreover, in the field of Physics, which includes medicine, aerospace, and other physics, the uses of MathWorks are beyond imagination. Because of the characteristics of this area which are calculation, logic, and modeling, the whole system can be used in it.

Besides, one can use it in other disciplines like aerospace, earth, ocean, and atmosphere science, weathering, and so on. If there is science, logic, and calculation even a little bit, there is MatLab.

Capabilities that Matlab have

Matlab itself is a high-level language with an extremely organized and interactive user experience. It has tens of libraries, functions, and a toolbox with a resourceful database. Moreover, it can bridge with other languages’ third-party tools, libraries, and functions.

That means the ability of MatLab knows no bounds. Specifically, speaking the capabilities that bring this language compiler, Simulink, or whatever one says are many. Here, we will be describing the focused capabilities of Matlab.

  1. Cloud Computing
  2. Discrete-Event Simulation
  3. Embedded Code Generation
  4. GPU Computing
  5. Hardware Support
  6. Model Based Design
  7. Model Deployment
  8. Parallel Computing
  9. Physical Modeling
  10. Real time simulation and testing
  11. Report Generation
  12. System Engineering
  13. Verifcation, Validation, and test
  14. Web and desktop deployment

According to the list above, we can say that the capabilities of MatLab are countless. One can do simple analysis to advance graphing, modeling, testing, and so many other things with this software. Including everything, it is a huge platform offering loads of benefits.

They can work on their Desktop and share the work with others in their home country or anywhere in the world. It provides versatility and a suitable environment to work on a joint project.

Moreover, some complex analysis which is not possible with a human brain can be done easily in this intelligent environment. ML, DL, AI, CV, CNN, NN, and every sector is possible to use in the projects of MatLab using secondary tools and products. However, one will have to have the ability to use those in their work.

When a student can use Matlab?

Normally, different universities offer courses that require Matlab such as numerical methods, a vector that requires mathematical modeling, and so on. Before that students do not get to know this amazing platform where they could do magic.

It is because the work we can do here is extremely complicated. It requires a good knowledge of programming and its methods. But once one start coding or developing things in it, they will love it. moreover, one of the interesting thing image processing in bachelor use this platform.

Student can do various manipulation of an image. for example, restoring a noisy image, making a black and wwhite image colorful, and so on. Have you ever watch a detective movie where the police cleared a blurry image of cars number plate?

amazingly, you can do that too by writing few lines of matlab code and it will work like a magic. beyond all the complecated thing i have mentioned above, matlab is so much fun to operate even for high schooler.

though you will find it hard to operate at first. but trust me, once you get little used to it and learn the basic, you can do so much with it even out of curosity. of course, never forget to amused your techaer adding little dramatic graph to any of your school project using this software.

Overall, students of highly renowned engineers, scientists, and business icons are using MatLab without any issues for years. As of the information above we have justified our statement that Matlab is worth more than the pricing they set if one has the knowledge to use that.

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