[Libre-silicon-devel] KiCAD VLSI design

Hagen SANKOWSKI hsank at posteo.de
Sun Jan 20 20:52:00 CET 2019

On 1/20/19 9:16 PM, Jecel Assumpcao Jr. wrote:
> Has the Electric integrated circuit CAD software been considered and
> rejected for some reason?
> https://www.staticfreesoft.com/

We evaluate a lot of tools during our 1st Hackathon in May last year.
Unfortunately no tool matches our need.

In my humble opinion it was a bad move from Electric to switch to Java.
Java catches more programmer on the good side but also has do deal with
a huge memory footprint.
I guess, that our clients playing with smaller laptops than with big
iron. So memory is an issue as long as dealing with VLSI (routing,
placement, and all the other stuff) needs a lot of them. Both, Java and
the design which needs memory also probably does not fit into laptops.

> While I am a big fan of KiCAD, it seems to me that starting out with
> something originally created for integrated circuits would be a better
> choice. In fact, Electric also has resources allowing it to be used for
> PCBs but it would be awkward for that compared to KiCAD. I can see that
> using a single tool for everything would be attractive, however. I am
> just not sure it is practical.

We would get more VLSI designer, if we are using a familiar GUI for most
of them. Something like KiCad which has a great momentum, or Lepton EDA
(a active gEDA fork) could be help. Our first attempt was to clone QFlow
(http://opencircuitdesign.com/qflow) - which also needs a lot of work.
The effort to doing all the stuff alone is to big for us - our small
team is already occupied.

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