Whether you are a student, lecturer, VLSI amateurs or professionals, there is no way that you can prevent yourself from using proprietary softwares such from Cadence, Altera…
In the semiconductor world, students/trainees are taught under proprietary softwares so as they could be attractive for companies recruiting them. Similarly, students studying accounting or economics are taught under Microsoft Office instead of OpenOffice for the same reason. Sadly, this is the truth.
However proprietary softwares for the semiconductor world are so expensive that one can’t afford for personal use (much more expensive than Vista, to give you an idea). Opensource might be an alternative. Thereby, the question of exchanging one’s work between applications raises. I’ll talk about layout editors for now. Each layout editor has its own file format. It would be useless to design a layout if one can’t do much with its design. By useless, I mean waste of time and money. Mature EDA CADs like magic and alliance (soon on fedora) do provide exports to the GDS II stream format (GDSII) or Caltech Intermediate Form (CIF) provided the proper technology has been fed.
Now, students can design at home with magic, alliance (soon on fedora) or toped on their Fedora. Then demonstrate their achievement on Cadence’s Virtuoso at school, for example. But on Fedora, one isn’t only restricted to Layout editing, but can also:
extract spice netlists, simulate the latter with ngspice or gnucap (we will soon see gspiceui and gwave into the fedora collection in the next 2 weeks)
do Switch-level simulation with irsim
do VHDL simulations with either ghdl and freehdl along with gtkwave.
do large analog or mixed-signal circuits simulations
do schematics with xcircuit, xsch or gschem
design pcb with the couple geda suite and pcb. or with kicad and view under gerbv
do LVS with alliance (soon on fedora)- However for now netgen is giving segmentation faults.
(not semiconductor related: gpasm, gpsim, piklab, ktechlab and pikloops useful for pic programming)
All these to say, Fedora has included and will continue to include big opensource names in terms of electronic simulations. By F8′s release, alliance, gspiceui and gwave will be available on the fedora collection, making electronic simulations one of F8′s features. If you feel something is missing in Fedora’s Electronic Simulation Kit or simply give feedbacks, please drop me a mail (chitlesh [AT] fedoraproject DOT org). I’ll be delighted to make Fedora provide an Electronic Simulation Kit with which one can do _real_ job!
In Physical Layout is done, so what’s next? (PART_2), I’ll demonstrate an example of invertor using the TSMC 0.25µm SCN5M_DEEP technology.
Filed under: alliance, electronics, magic, VLSI