OpenAccess is a community effort to provide interoperability, including unified data exchange among integrated circuit design tools. The data exchange is enabled through an open standard data API and reference database supporting that API for IC design. It is coordinated by the OpenAccess Coalition of EDA industry leaders. OpenAccess can store layout data, schematics, symbols, netlists and any other application-specific data. The information is stored into many files in a directory tree. Each directory tree is call a library. OpenAccess can access many libraries concurrently. A design can be split into multiple libraries. A list of all used libraries is stored in a 'lib.defs' file. This file is either located in the application folder or in the home folder of the user.

Installing OpenAccess

OpenAccess is included in all LayoutEditor packages for Windows and Linux but is not available for Apple MAC OS X. It is installed with the newest version by default and can be used straight away. If you need a special version of OpenAccess, please adjust the OA subfolder of your LayoutEditor installation to the required version and make sure that the oaGetVersion call returns the required OpenAccess version. The correct plug-in for that OpenAccess version will be loaded. With SetupDialog/fileformat/OpenAccess it can be checked after starting the LayoutEditor.

Using OpenAccess in the LayoutEditor

You can directly open an OpenAccess view via file/open in the LayoutEditor. To do so, point to the .oa file containing the cell view you want to load. A registration of the library into the 'lib.defs' file and loading of all required cells is done automatically. Alternatively, you can access an OpenAccess library via OpenAccess Tools which are located in the SetupDialog and in the Utilities menu. The file/open will only load the design data. A netlist will not be loaded. To load it, please use Load OpenAccess Netlist. The file/save feature will save a design to the OpenAccess library. Only the currently displayed cell will be saved. If a netlist for that cell is present, it will also be saved. In the schematic window, you can load/store any schematic to an OpenAccess library. Existing symbols within a library can be used as components. To load them, use the AddLibrary feature. It will always load the complete library and not just a single cell. IPL & iPDK extensions are supported, including TCL callbacks. The callback folder with the TCL code needs to be set in the SetupDialog under Macro Callbacks.

Installing OpenAccess PlugIns

OpenAccess can be extended via plugins. With a plugin you can add new scripting languages or add new parametric cell interfaces. The most popular plugin is probably Synopsys PyCell. To use any OpenAccess plug-in, please use the OpenAccess version shipped with the plug-in and choose the LayoutEditor plug-in accordingly. A start script layout-pycell is shipped with the LayoutEditor in the bin folder.