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Agilent Technologies


Building PDKs

Using the PDK Builder you can create and package process design kits for use with ADS. This section describes the user interface and its use model.

The PDK Builder Overview

The functional elements of the interface are:

  • Content Editor
    PDK Builder features a Content Editor. This area is populated with different editors, as needed.
    • PDK Information Editor
    • Component Editor
    • Model/Subcircuit Editor
    • Palette Editor
  • Docked Window
    A docked window to the left titled Design Kit Structure contains the Netlist View and Design Kit View tabs.

    You cannot drag and drop items in this view.

  • Netlist View displays the sections/models/sub-circuits/corner-cases contained in the netlists added to the design kit. This is represented by a tree-view, fully expanded by default.
  • Design Kit View displays the contents of the PDK in a hierarchical tree view.
  • Menu and Toolbar
    • File file operations
    • Edit editing operations
    • Add adds components and palettes
    • Generate creates packaged kits for distribution
    • Help > Topics and Index provides access to the documentation
  • Status Bar
    Displays status messages and messages for menu items.

The PDK Builder Design Environment

This section discusses the design environment elements in detail.

Main Window/Content Editor

PDK Information Viewer

This is the first window when you click Create a new PDK or Open an existing PDK link from Getting Started with PDK Builder dialog.
This is the first dialog displayed when you create a new PDK or load an existing PDK. This page may also be accessed from the Design Kit View tab. The required fields are marked bold on the application display. Use this page to enter:

  • PDK name: In this field, type the desired name for the new PDK. This field accepts alphanumeric characters with underscores. Special characters are not allowed.
  • PDK destination: Click the Browse button to specify the directory and folder where you want to save the PDK.
  • Foundry name: In this field, type the foundry name. This field accepts special characters with alphanumeric characters.
  • Foundry URL: Specify the url of the foundry here. For example:
  • PDK Engineer: Type the name of the Engineer who is creating or modifying the PDK.
  • Description: Type the details of the PDK that you are creating or modifying. For example, if you are modifying a PDK, you can mention your notes here.
  • Version/Revision: Type the version or revision of the PDK that you are creating or modifying.
  • Date created: Click on the drop down combo to display the calender and select the date when the PDK is created.

PDK Technology Files Viewer

Use this page to attach technology files, DRC files, and the substrate file. These files are copied and packaged into the PDK. The technology files (preference files) must have a .prf extension and layer files require a .lay extension. DRC files require a .ael extension while the substrate definition file must have a .slm extension. All fields are optional.

PDK Netlist and Process Viewer

Use this page to attach the netlists containing the model/sub-circuit definitions. The supported netlist formats are Spectre netlist (extension .scs) and ADS netlist (extensions .ckt, .mod, and .net). These netlists are then parsed to populate the Netlist View in the docked window towards the left of the content editor.

Component Editor

The Component Editor is displayed when you create a new component out of models/sub-circuits selected from the Netlist View, or when a blank component is created. This page may also be accessed by the respective component's tree-item in the Design Kit View.

The required fields are shown in bold. Use this page to define the following component parameters:

  • Name enter a unique name for the component.
  • Description carries the default value same as the Component name.
  • Type choose from Capacitor, Inductor, Resistor, FET, BJT, Diode, Varactor and Custom Type.
  • Prefix modified to be C, L, R, Q, Q, D, V and X respectively based on the choice made in the field above. Is editable.
  • Symbol specify a valid ADS symbol name or a valid .dsn symbol file. Can also be chosen by the Symbol Browser dialog invoked by pressing the Browse button.
  • Bitmap specify a valid ADS bitmap name or a valid .bmp bitmap file. Can also be chosen by the Bitmap Browser dialog invoked by pressing the Browse button.
  • Bitmap Help Text quick help displayed with the bitmap.
  • Layout Information
    • Layout Type choose from among No Artwork, Fixed Artwork and AEL Macro.
    • Layout File enabled when Fixed Artwork or AEL Macro is chosen as the Layout type. Allowed file type extensions are .dsn (for fixed artwork) and .ael (for AEL Macro).
    • Artwork Name Choose the artwork name from the list.

Additional parameters are defined in the More Options dialog. These include Help File/URL, attaching custom AEL files and associated data files.

Model/Subcircuit Editor

The Model/Subcircuit tab of the Component dialog presents the selected subcircuit parameters in a table format.

New models/subcircuits can also be added to the current component while existing models/subcircuits can be removed.

You may also add parameters to the component by clicking Add param to open the Add Parameter dialog and setting the following parameter properties:

  • Name
  • Type
  • Description
  • Attributes can be set by using the More Attributes dialog.

Parameter Properties Dialog

Parameter More Attributes Dialog

Note: For ADS components, adding or deleting of parameters should be avoided, else the simulation of these ADS components will be affected.

Palette Editor

Use the Palette Editor to create/modify the palettes included with the PDK. The Available Components group box lists the components you have created with their bitmaps. To open the Palette Editor, click on the palette name in the Design Kit View tab.

To use the Palette Editor:

  1. Enter the palette name in the Palette Name field.
  2. Enter a suitable description for the palette (optional).
  3. Click the component(s) you want to add from the Available Components group box.
  4. Clicking >> adds the component to the palette.
  5. Selecting the component(s) in the Palette Components field and clicking << removes them from the box.
  6. Save the process design kit.

Docked Window (Design Kit Structure)

This window may be removed from the main window by double clicking on the title bar Design Kit Structure, and replaced by the same action. The following two views are contained in the two tabs:

  1. Netlist View displays all the models/subcircuits/corner-cases present in all the netlists provided as input to the PDK. The right-click context menu of all the items in the tree-view (except corner-cases) lists the following items:
    1. Add to New Component adds the selected models/subcircuits to a new component instance (see Component Editor) provided the netlist parameters of the selected items match. If they do not match, a message is issued to inform user that the default and populates them in a new component instance takes the user
    2. Add to Current Component adds the selected models/subcircuits to the component being currently edited. This addition is valid only if the models/sub-circuited already added to the component are not selected again. The parameters of the selected models/sub-circuits are copied from those already added to the component.
    3. Enable makes the selected item(s) capable of being added/selected for creating a component. By default, all tree-items except the corners sections are enabled. The corners cannot be enabled.
    4. Disable makes the item(s) non-selectable (grays them out) for the purpose of adding to any component (i.e. Add to new component and Add to current component in the context menu are grayed out). The disabled items can be enabled using Enable as explained above.
  2. Design Kit View \displays the Design Kit structure in a tree view. The upper-most level displays the name of the PDK (e.g. Demo_PDK below), followed by the palettes added to the PDK (e.g. Demo_PDK_Palette1 below). Each palette lists the included components (e.g. cap1 and cap2). Highlighting any item in the tree-view will take you to its respective property page.

The components created are also permanently listed as the tree elements (e.g. Comp1 below). This enables you to have quick access to the created components without having to search within all the palettes.

Netlist View

Design Kit View

Menu and Toolbar

The keyboard shortcuts are as listed alongside the menu item.

Some of the functions can also be accessed quickly from the tool bar (illustrated below). Hovering the cursor over the tool bar icons in will display a tool tip indicating its function.

Function description:

  • File
    • New (shortcut: Ctrl+N) Creates a new PDK instance. If you have a current open PDK session, you are asked to save/discard your unsaved changes. You may also choose to cancel the action.
    • Open (shortcut: Ctrl+O) Shows a "Open File" dialog. Only files with the extension xml are shown in the dialog. If you have a current open PDK session, you are asked to save/discard your unsaved changes. You may also choose to cancel the action.
    • Save. (shortcut: Ctrl+S) Saves the current PDK session information to the designated location as a xml file. Shows a File Save dialog when called for the first time.
    • Save As Shows a dialog to save the current PDK information in the designated location as a xml file.
    • Close (shortcut: Ctrl+F4) Closes the current PDK session. If you have a current open PDK session, you are asked to save/discard your unsaved changes. You may also choose to cancel the action. Important: the application window is not closed on choosing this action.
    • Exit (shortcut: Ctrl+Q) Exits the application. If you have a current open PDK session, you are asked to save/discard your unsaved changes. You may also choose to cancel the action.
  • Edit
  • Palettes tree
    • Cut (shortcut: Ctrl+X) Components can be cut from a palette and pasted in a different palette.
    • Copy (shortcut: Ctrl+C) Components can be copied from a palette and pasted into a different palette. A palette can be copied and pasted into the Palettes tree.
    • Paste (shortcut: Ctrl+V) Components and Palettes can be pasted.
    • Delete (shortcut: Del) Components and Palettes can be deleted.
  • Components tree
    • Copy (shortcut: Ctrl+C) Component can be copied.
    • Paste (shortcut: Ctrl+V) When a copied Component is pasted, the new component is named copy_of<old_component_name>.
    • Delete (shortcut: Del) Delete would permanently delete the component. A warning message will be shown to confirm if the component exists in any palette.

A Component from Components tree cannot be copied and pasted inside the Palettes section and vice versa.

  • Add
    • Component Opens a new Component Editor page. This is another way to create a blank component first and then add the models/sub-circuits to it, different from the approach discussed previously. This menu item if accessed without any item highlighted in the Netlist View enables you to use the in-built ADS components.
    • Palette Opens Palette Creator page. You are required to name the palette uniquely. Description is optional. You may single-select or multi-select the components displayed in the "Available Components" box to the left and transfer them to the "Palette Components" box to the right. Use the >> & << buttons to move the components into and out the Palette Components box.
  • Generate
    • Package... Creates the files to be packaged inside the PDK and places them in the standard design kit structure at the location designated on the PDK Main page.
  • Help
    • About PDK Builder Shows the version and other information related to PDK Builder.
    • Topics and Index... (shortcut: F1) Displays the html help for the PDK Builder application.

Status Bar

Status Bar is used to display useful messages when you click on menu items.

Summary of Files and Directories

An ADS design kit is a group of files related to a set of ADS components that are self-contained for ease of transfer and use. The files in a design kit reside in specific subdirectories, located under a directory that bears the name of the design kit.