Recent Improvements in CELEBRITY Tools


Most of recent improvements in Expert, Savage, Guardian and Maverick are aimed at the enhancement of the usability of these tools. All features described below are developed according to the requests of our customers.

1. Improvements In Expert Layout Editor

1.1. Rotation by 90 or 45 degrees with respect to a selected point
This operation is made much easier. Now the "Edit>>Rotate" tool obeys the angle mode (Edit>>Angle Mode>>All/90/45). If the 90-deg. mode is on, then after clicking the center of rotation the cursor jumps to the four orthogonal angles only. Similarly, under the 45-deg. mode the cursor jumps to the 8 directions.

1.2. Chip Rover dumps coordinates in user units
"Dump" command of the ChipRover now writes the positions of cell instances in the current measurement units. Previously it wrote in database units.

1.3. Cell name length restriction for gdsII files
A warning is added when an attempt is made for writing a gdsII file with cell names longer than 32 characters. Some CAD systems fail to read such gdsII files.

1.4. Bindkeys instead of mouse clicks
The new command Edit>>Left Mouse Click is added. If a bindkey is assigned to it, this bindkey may be used instead of left mouse clicks when drawing the shapes and in some other operations.

At the same time, the <Enter> key acts as the right mouse click to terminate the drawing of polygonal shapes: region, wire, ruler and cutting line.

These replacements are especially useful if the mouse is not stable or you are using the tablet with the stylus.

1.6. License Releasing for Idle Application
"SFLM idle time" option is added to Setup>>General: if an application is idle during this time, then its license is released.

Zero value for idle time means that the license is released only when the application terminates

1.7. Infix Mode for Ruler
A new option is added to ruler setup: Setup>>Ruler>> Infix Mode.

In this mode, if the ruler is started by its bindkey, then the starting point is taken at the mouse position at the moment of hitting the bindkey (without mouse click). In this way, the measurement requires one mouse click less.

If the ruler is started from menu, then you still need to click the first ruler point.

1.8. Duplicate/Move with Rotation/Flip
If you assign shortcuts to "Rotate-90", "Flip Vertically" and "Flip Horizontally", then you may click them in the course of the "duplicate" or "move" operation, so that the result will be a combined transformation of shift/rotation/mirroring.

Moreover, right mouse clicks during the duplication/ move perform "Rotate-90".

1.9. Technology File Format Change: Layer Stipple Pattern Stored Directly
Notice: The new format of technology file can be still used with older versions of Expert: new fields will be ignored.

(This is a general rule for Expert technology files.)

Previously, technology files stored only the name of the layer’s stipple pattern. Pattern itself was to be loaded from the currently active stipple library. As a result, a substitution of the current stipple library led to substitution of stipple patterns.

Now stipple libraries are used only for the initial selection of the pattern. Once it is selected, it is stored in the technology and may be substituted only from the Layer Setup.

In particular, this change of the technology file format enabled the following useful feature:

1.10. Loading/Saving Layer Style (Color, Filling) using Layer Plans
Expert Layer Plan files (*.elp) now store layer color and stipple pattern data, so that you can replace layer style without changing the technology file. This is done as follows.

  • load a project;
  • set your favorite color and stipple patterns;
  • open the Layer Plan panel, either from menu View>>Layer View>>Layer Plan or clicking the "Plan" button in the Layer Bar;
  • add a new plan named, e.g., "my_style-1";
  • save it. In this example, by default it will be saved in a file "my_style-1.elp".

From now on, if you load a project with a compatible technology (i.e., with the same layer names), you may load the "my_style-1.elp" layer plan to set your layer style.

Note: When a layer plan is loaded, it does not change appearance of the layers not listed in it.

1.11.Default "FULL__" and "DATA__" Layer Plans
When a project is loaded, Expert automatically creates layer plans with the names "FULL__" and "DATA__". FULL__ layer plan shows all layers present in the technology. DATA__ layer plan shows only layers that contain geometry in the current cell.

These layer plans are automatically updated when you open a cell or select one of these plans from the layer plan drop-down list in the Layer Bar.

1.12. Xi-procedure for layer attributes (visibility/selectability)
A new procedure for setting layer attributes is added.

In this version only visibility and selectability may be set.

layer_set_view_attr("layer_name", LVA_VISIBLE, flag);

layer_set_view_attr("layer_name", LVA_SELECTABLE, flag);

‘flag’ may be TRUE or FALSE

If layer_name is an empty string, then visibility/selectability is set for all layers. Example:

layer_set_view_attr("", LVA_SELECTABLE, TRUE); Sets all layers selectable.

1.13. get_point(): xi-procedure for getting mouse position
If it is called from xi-script then it expects a mouse click in the layout.

It returns the POINT object with coordinate values in current measurement units for the cursor position. It takes into account the active reference point.

When get_point expects a mouse click, you may still use viewing commands (zoom in/out, pan, scroll) and ruler. If any other Expert’s interactive operation is selected (e.g. box creation or stretch, etc.), then the return of get_point() is undefined.

Usage example:



Box (P1.X) (P1.Y) (P2.X-P1.X) (P2.Y-P1.Y);

If get_point()is called and rather than clicking the mouse you hit <ESC> key, the function will return a point with minimum coordinates. Their exact values depend on the current database unit and measurement unit values. For example,If DB unit is 0.001 and measurement units are microns, get_point() will return the point (-1000000, -1000000).

Notice that when get_point() expects the input of the point you can still use the following operations:

  • viewing (panning, zooming)
  • Ruler
  • Pick Layer
  • operations in the Layer bar

1.14. Control for same GDSII number/datatype in technology file
Control for correctness of technology data is enhanced:

If the option: Setup>>Technology>>General>>"Allow layers with same GDSII numbers and datatypes" is NOT checked, then operations Project>>New and Project>>Load that use a technology file with a pair of layers with the same GDSII numbers and datatypes will fail with the corresponding message.

In previous versions of Expert this control was performed only during technology creation / modification using Setup>>Technology>>Layer Setup.

This control prevents unintentional data change during export into the gdsII format: two or more Expert layers can be written into one gdsII layer.

If it is required to merge layers during gdsII export, it is recommended to use a layer remapping table, see Setup>>GDS I/O>>Output.

1.15. Replacing layer colors, stipples and GDSII numbers in technology
The commands below are a temporary workaround for some most common requests until the replacement of technology data without closing the project will be implemented.

The View>>Layer View>>Layer Lists submenu contains the following commands:

Load Layer Colors

Save Layer Colors

Load Layer Stipples

Save Layer Stipples

Load Layer GDSII Numbers/Datatypes

Save Visible Layer List

The "View>>Layer View>>Layer Lists>>Save…" commands save the colors or stipples, or gdsII numbers/datatypes of the visible layers into files with the extension *.ell (Expert layer list). (Layer visibility is set using the Layer bar).

Use these "Save…" commands to see the format of these files (a very simple one).

Notice that the stipple layer list uses stipple names and requires a proper stipple library to load stipples by names.

NOTE. Recall that the "Save Visible Layer List" command is useful for creating layer remapping tables.


2. Improvements in Savage DRC System

2.1. New commands in Savage DRC runset

2.1.1. Top_Cell: <Name of Top Cell>;
<Name of Top Cell> - the name of the cell that will be taken as top for the execution of the DRC runset for the given project.

This command must be placed before any executable commands in the script.

The DRACULA->Savage converter converts this command from DRACULA's command "PRIMARY".

2.1.2 Error_Limit: <Number>;
<Number> is the maximal number of errors reported by one DRC check command.

This command overrides the "Errors number limit" setting in Setup>>DRC Script during DRC script running.

The DRACULA->Savage converter converts this command from DRACULA's command "LIMIT-DRC-ERROR".

2.2. "Convert layer checks from DESCRIPTION BLOCK"
This option is added to "Verification>>DRC>>Script Panel>>Options".

If this option is checked then DRACULA's check commands from DESCRIPTION BLOCK


are converted into the corresponding Savage check commands for each input layer.

2.3. DRACULA's command "SELECT NOT ..."
This command (not supported before) is converted now into the corresponding Savage commands.

2.4. Options for DRC Progress Indicators
Options for DRC Progress Indicators existing in "Verification>>DRC>>Script Panel>>Run Options" dialog are added to Setup>>DRC Script to set Progress Indicator options permanently and to save/restore to/from configuration files and/or WinNT registry.