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May 29, 2009

Mtg: ELECTRIC: a Multithreaded Integrated-Circuit Design System

by @ 8:51 am. Filed under ALL, Electronics Design, Engineering Mgmt, Semiconductors
 

THURSDAY June 4, 2009
Monterey Bay Subsection, with Circuits and Systems Chapter
Speaker: Dr. Steven M. Rubin, Sun Labs
Time: Networking and food at 6:00 PM, Presentation at 7:00 PM
Cost: none ($2 for parking)
Place: UC Santa Cruz, Room 180, Engineering Bldg 2, Santa Cruz
RSVP: by email to Marcelo Siero, siero@ee.com
Web: www.ee.com/electric

The Electric VLSI Design System is an open-source circuit-design system that has been used for decades to make integrated circuit (IC) chips.? Written in 1982, it predates most commercial circuit design systems available today.? Beginning in 2003, a small team at Sun Microsystems translated Electric from C to Java, completing the task in less than two years.? The resulting system is more stable, has an improved user interface, and (to the surprise of many) is faster.
One of the reasons for the new translation was to take advantage of Java’s powerful multithreading facilities.? While attempting to make use of these facilities, it was determined that a thread-safe database was needed.? We split the system into a database server and a user-interface client.? This new database has a number of advantages, including: collaborative design, thin-client design terminals, reliable crash recovery, reduced memory usage, and the ability to use multiple processors.
This talk describes these improvements to Electric and describes two multithreading facilities that have been built: a design-rule checker (DRC) and a wire router.

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