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Electric VLSI 9.05 3D View March 13, 2015

Posted by haryoktav in Interest.
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I was learning to make simple CMOS layout using Electric. Actually, my colleague has been made a tutorial based on Electric. But it uses an old version of Electric. Then I found a great site with deep tutorials: CMOSedu! They use new version, 9.05 at that time. The problem is, the 3D view is not included just like in the old version. They informed that “Due to copyright restrictions, GNU is unable to distribute those parts of Electric that come from external sources. Therefore, these facilities must be downloaded separately.”, in here.

I tried these steps from the manuals and forums and it worked for me. It tested on OS Windows 8.1 with Core-i3 (64-bits). But please, do read the Electric’s manual about 3D view and the Electric’ tutorials at the CMOSedu.

  1. I only downloaded Java3D (j3d-1_5_2-windows-amd64.exe) and Static Free Software Extras (electricSFS-9.05.jar). Java3D enables Electric’s 3D display and  Static Free Software extras, which give you IRSIM (a simulator from Stanford), the 3D interface, and an animation controller.
  2. Run the j3d-1_5_2-windows-amd64.exe. Then, locates the file j3dcore-ogl.dll in C:\Program Files\Java\Java3D\1.5.2\bin, and the jar files (j3dcore.jar, j3dutils.jar, vecmath.jar) in C:\Program Files\Java\Java3D\1.5.2\lib\ext. I moved those four files to the folder where the file electricBinary-9.05.jar exist. In other words, collects those files at the same folder with the Electric file. In my case, the common folder is D:\Electric\bin.
  3. Now, let the OS knows that the j3dcore-ogl.dll file is located at D:\Electric\bin by setting the environment. In the search dialog (Win 8.1), type “environment” without quotes. Click ‘Edit environment variables for your account’. Highlight the CLASSPATH variable, click Edit. Add new location by typing D:\Electric\bin in the variable value. Don’t forget to put “;”-mark before adding. Clik OK and click OK.
  4. The last step is to create a batch file. At the common folder D:\Electric\bin, right click, select New, select Text Document. A file with name New Text Document.txt is created. Double click this text file. Now, type: java.exe -classpath “electricBinary-9.05.jar;electricSFS-9.05.jar;j3dcore.jar;j3dutils.jar;vecmath.jar” com.sun.electric.Launcher  ,then click File – Save, and click File – Exit. Now, rename the New Text Document.txt files with, for example, Electric.bat. This file should be run every time you want to run Electric.

Done, I hope it works for you ^^. These are the screenshots.

Adding the path in OS Windows:

Edit the OS's environment.

Edit the OS’s environment.

Add the common folder where the DLL file is placed.

Add the common folder where the DLL file is placed.

Creating a batch file from a text file to execute Electric along with the plugins:

Text file prepared for a batch file.

All files are in the same folder:

Common folder with the batch file.

Common folder with the batch file.

When you double clicked the batch file:

Batch file is running.

Batch file is running and Electric should run too.

You can see an additional menu under Window menu, which makes me happy:

3D Window menu is appeared.

3D Window menu is appeared.

You can check that the plugins are successfully installed, by clicking Help – About Electric, and click Plugins button:

Java3D and IRSIM are installed successfully.

Java3D and IRSIM are installed successfully.

Clicking Window – 3D Window – Test Hardware, will bring you here, in the messages window:

Test the hardware result at the Messages windows.

Test the hardware result at the Messages windows.

When the Java3D is installed, you can see the layers are displayed in 3D:

Menu File - Preferences, at Display - 3D catagories, 3D view of layers are displayed.

Menu File – Preferences, at Display – 3D catagories, 3D view of layers are displayed.

Yay! 3D with Electric 9.05! ^^

An example of a NPN transistor in 3D.

An example of a NPN transistor in 3D.

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