schematic to IC layout software?

Discussion in 'Electronics Resources' started by b0nk3rs, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. b0nk3rs

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 19, 2008
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    is there a software than converts schematic diagrams to IC layouts? where can I download it? thanks!
     
  2. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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  3. n9352527

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 14, 2005
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    Did you really mean IC layout? Or PCB layout?

    For IC layout, there is no freely available automatic conversion software. Good IC layout softwares cost a lot of money.

    There are free manual IC layout softwares if you are interested.
     
  4. b0nk3rs

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 19, 2008
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    thanks for the links! I wanted an IC layout though... I'm having a hard time wandering through the manual IC layout softwares... I don't even know how to start! Do you have any free software on mind that's easy to use? how about a link for a tutorial? I really appreciate your help man...
     
  5. scubasteve_911

    Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2007
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    Are you being trained in IC design? I hope you know fermi-levels and electron-band-diagrams well :p

    Very typically, you are provided a library of standard components that work for a specific semiconductor fab. process. You must sign a non-disclosure agreement and pay a significant amount to them for the legal fees. If you are part of an academic institution, they will provide design rules / libraries for less advanced processes for free.

    Nonetheless, you absolutely need design rules in order to start, whether you manually layout or use component libraries. The processes that they use are their intellectual property and they guard it well. The software that they use is very expensive, so good luck finding free software.

    If you're worried about software costs, then have you looked into fabrication cost? Expect to spend at least 10000$ for the relatively old tech. fabrications... If you are able to go down to 90nM, then you're into some serious dollars! My school has a very special academic discount with a company for 130nM CMOS process, 300$ / mm^2. If you want the IC packaged (wire-bonded and molded), then add another 1000$ for a couple ICs.

    The point is, you absolutely need to be part of an academic institution that is willing to pay for your graduate research or part of a major corporation that is planning a new ASIC.

    Steve
     
  6. n9352527

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 14, 2005
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    Two of free ones that I've used are LASI and Magic. Both support MOSIS Scalable CMOS (SCMOS) technology file. SCMOS is somewhat less relevant now due to deep submicron processes. However, for educational purposes it is still widely used.

    Both of them are easy to use, with tutorials available on the internet.

    http://lasihomesite.com/
    http://opencircuitdesign.com/magic/
     
  7. CaptainJohnson

    New Member

    Feb 20, 2008
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    I know one named "Electric".
     
  8. b0nk3rs

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 19, 2008
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    tried lasi and went bongo :confused:... I'm having a hard time learning how to use this software... any tips??
     
  9. b0nk3rs

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 19, 2008
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    can you give me more info about this software?
     
  10. b0nk3rs

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 19, 2008
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    umm...pardon my stupidity... but can multisim or proteus do this?
     
  11. John Luciani

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    Apr 3, 2007
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  12. scubasteve_911

    Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2007
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    I've used Electric also, very tedious and buggy :(

    Steve
     
  13. scubasteve_911

    Senior Member

    Dec 27, 2007
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    The whole point of entering in the design is to extract the spice netlist. So, you'd have a schematic that you wish to implement, you place each transistor (collector, base, emitter) with the appropriate w/l ratio. You interconnect it all, then you can generate SPICE that you can simulate.

    Steve
     
  14. n9352527

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 14, 2005
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    I'm sorry to hear that. LASI, which I like better than Magic, is about as simple as it gets. There are commercial packages that are way more difficult than LASI. The only tip that I have is to go through the documentations and then the tutorials. There is no shortcut, you just have to steel yourself and do it.

    I take it that you are working on digital design, because you referred to logic gates? If so, it would be simpler to tackle this in steps, such as creating standard cells first, before laying out the circuit. It depends a lot on the size and complexity of your design. Small and straight forward design would not benefit so much from having standard cells.
     
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