Hints, Tips and Solutions

Volume 12, Number 2, February 2002


Q. How do I install and use my Silvaco TCAD tools on a Windows 2000 machine?

A. Silvaco software supports licensing on Windows NT (Serverice Pack 4. or later) and Windows 2000 Pro. As a new user you should receive 3 components before you can begin to run the software.

  • the Silvaco software itself
  • a security key (also called a dongle)
  • a license file (sent via email from Silvaco HQ)

All three of these are necessary before you can run the software.

NOTE: Silvaco license server requires the existence of the folder c:\Temp in order to store temporary files. If this folder does not exist the software will not work.

Step 1.
Insert the dongle into either the parallel port or the USB port. Both are supported by Silvaco, but are different keys. The one you receive is decided at time of purchasing the software.

Step 2.
Install the software from either the CDROM or the FTP downloaded file. This is started by executing the Setup utility. Normal installations should follow the defaulted choice for each window. This will be either Next or Yes.

Note: When choosing products to install make sure that the LICENSING option has been checked.

Step 3.
During the software installation you will be asked to navigate to the license file that you received from Silvaco. Make sure this is available on your machine.

Step 4.
Restarting the Windows operating system is necessary in order to enable communication between the software and the dongle. This is normally recommended.


Q. After installing the tools in the prescribed manner how do I know if I was successful?

A. Bring up the system Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Del and then choose Task Manager), show all processes that are running and look for one called rpc.sflmserverd that should be running. If this is not in the list, perform the operation:

Start-->Programs-->Silvaco--Sflm-->Start Server

Note: If Start Server option is not there then you failed to click the License option suggested in Step 2. Remove the installation and repeat.


Q. How do I know what licenses are available or who has checked out licenses?

A. The installation creates a Shortcuts folder on the PC Desktop. Double-clicking on this icon will cause a pop-up to appear with the application Shortcuts. Two of these are labelled "Server status" and "Current users". If the user double-clicks on these icons a DOS window should appear that shows all available licenses and which users have checked out particular licenses, respectively.


Q. I have obtained a new license file what should I do?

A. To activate the new license file, simply copy it to the folder c:\Silvaco\etc where the software was installed. Then rename this file to simply "license" and reboot the PC.

Note: Make sure that there is no extension on the file. If the file is called for instance license.dat then the license manager will not start.


Q. I have been running the software successfully, but suddenly nothing will work. What should I do?

A. A number of different actions may have caused this to occur. Below are some common reasons.

  • the license file has expired. Certain Silvaco licenses are for a fixed duration. Open the license file inside Wordpad and look for the lines entitled END_DATE. If any exist that are past then your license has expired and you should contact your Silvaco representative or email support@silvaco.com with a copy of your license file.

  • the date or time on the machine may have been modified. If the system clock is more than one hour out of sync with local time, correct the machine time, delete the folder c:\Temp\.sflm and reboot the PC

  • the dongle may have been damaged. To check this run the following command from the DOS prompt

    c:\Silvaco\bin\showid.exe -time

    the output from this should be self explanatory. This will also display the machine name and HASP number. The machine name should be repeated in the file c:\Silvaco\var\sflmserver and the HASP number should be the same as the line in the license file that starts with LM_HOSTIDS.

If these are not sufficient to correct the problem contact support@silvaco.com


Q. Is there any documetation available to help in troubleshooting installation problems?

A. After the software is installed, the user can find an extensive list of troubleshooting tips in the file entitled FAQ which resides in the Shortcuts folder as well as in c:\Silvaco\var\FAQ.txt



Call for Questions

If you have hints, tips, solutions or questions to contribute, please contact our Applications and Support Department
Phone: (408) 567-1000 Fax: (408) 496-6080
email: support@silvaco.com