Hints & Tips

Q: How can I install a new version of SILVACO Characterization tools without overwriting my previous version?


A: The Characterization tools associated with Vyper 1.4.0 (released Spring 1995) have a directory structure that allows multiple software versions to be concurrently installed. Different versions of a product are installed in different directories, and the following example is used to illustrate how two versions of UTMOST can coexist. For the purposes of the example, it is assumed that the existing version of the UTMOST product is 10.10.1.R, and that a new version (12.03.0.R) is being installed. Figure 1 shows the form of the Silvaco directory structure before installation of 12.03.0.R, and Figure 2 shows the form of the directory structure after installation, with the new entries highlighted in bold. There are two steps needed to install the new version of UTMOST:


  1. Load the software into installation area
  2. Reconnect the product(s) in VYPER

1. Loading the software.

If the software is being loaded from CD-ROM, then follow the instructions in appendix C of the Silvaco Installation, Migration and Troubleshooting Guide. If the software is being loaded from a tape, then the following steps are usually sufficient:

(a) change directory to <install_dir>, where <install_dir> is the existing installation directory.

(b) extract the contents of the tape, using a command like tar xvf /dev/<device>, where <device> corresponds to your tape device (e.g. rst0).

After loading the software from the distribution media, the new version of UTMOST is present as shown in Figure 2.

2. Reconnect the product(s) in VYPER.

Start up VYPER, and choose Net Setup from the Files menu to connect the new versions of the various products. Select UTMOST from the list of Supported Products, and press the Connect button to open the corresponding connection screen. Figure 3 shows the CONNECT screen used to connect UTMOST versions to VYPER. Press and hold the left mouse button over the Version: option menu, and VYPER will respond in a few seconds with a list of available UTMOST versions. Choose the new version (12.03.0.R in our example) and release the left mouse button. Press the Apply button to apply the changes, and VYPER will perform the necessary file copying etc. to connect the new version. The next time that UTMOST is invoked from VYPER, the new version will be used. The previous versions are still in place in the directory structure, and VYPER can be used to switch between versions.


Figure 1: Characterization tools directory structure prior to the installation of new versions of these tools. Figure 2: Characterization tools directory structure after the installation of new versions of these tools.


Q: How do I invoke a specific version of a VYPER product standalone from the command line?

A: When products are being used standalone (i.e. NOT being invoked from VYPER), the following command line syntax is used:

% product_name -V version

If the -V version switch is not supplied, then the default version is used. As an example, suppose that SmartSpice versions 1.3.2.R and 1.4.0.R have been installed.

To invoke the 1.4.0.R version, use the following command:

% smartspice -V 1.4.0.R

To invoke the 1.3.2.R version, use the following command:

% smartspice -V 1.3.2.R

(Note that the % represents the command line prompt, and should not be typed). To get a list of which versions are available, enter the following command:

% smartspice -WVs

Figure 3.
VYPER Connect window showing the versions of SPAYN available to the user.

Q: I have successfully installed and used a new SPAYN version. However, I now want to go back and use my previous version. How do I do this?

A: The Net Setup option from the Vyper Files menu can be used to connect any currently installed version of products used by VYPER. To connect a previous version of SPAYN, you should select SPAYN from the list of Supported Products, and press the Connect button to open the SPAYN CONNECT screen (see Figure 3). Press and hold the Version: option menu to see the list of available SPAYN versions, and then choose the desired (previous) version from the list before releasing the mouse button. Press the Apply button to complete the connection process. The chosen version of SPAYN will be used from this point on until you connect another version (using the same procedure). A similar methodology can be applied to any of the other VYPER Characterization Tools.