Design Workshop Technologies - Photonic Design Automation
Design Workshop software for design of microelectronics and photonics computer components
    Layout Editor Features
    Data Conversion

Feature Highlights

The Layout Editor is the core dw-2000™ module and is used for creating layouts aimed at mask manufacturing. The following points are highlights of the dw-2000 Layout Editor:
Multi-Mode Data Entry System

The creation of Shapes in dw-2000 combines two concepts: shape type and digitizing mode. Shape type refers to shapes that are either created by defining their centerlines or their contours. The digitizing mode determines the way dw-2000 interprets the coordinates you enter, that is, either as a straight line, orthogonal projection, arc, etc. This implementation means you can create any shape simply by mixing and matching digitizing modes. Furthermore, using the same skills you can enter any shape when a command requires an area definition. For example, you can select elements included in a circle by entering a circular shape in a selection command. Typical layout editors, by contrast, only allow you to perform commands on rectangular areas. This freedom combined with precision again enhances your productivity and the quality of your designs.

Boolean Engine

Layout designs often require creating objects based on other objects' relationships, such as unions or intersections. dw-2000’s rich collection of operators can perform numerically complex Boolean operations on all angle geometries. The net results are also GDSII compatible via dw-2000’s careful post processing of the resulting data.

Recursive Command Structure

Veteran layout design engineers testify that a layout editor with a recursive and re-entrant command flow is the best, most productive tool for the physical layout design (often referred to as "polygon pushing"). Such command organization, as is found in the dw-2000 Layout Editor, allows users to "nest" or "stack" command execution for the purpose of saving time and, more importantly, to conform to the designer’s state of mind. The linking of the result of one command to the input of another provides a rich set of alternate methods for accomplishing a given task. This can be done in conjunction with the GPE’s Command Line Interpreter. These features alone represent a radical departure from the traditional "flat" command structure found in other layout tools.

Hierarchical Database

Physical layouts, by nature, tend to build an impressive amount of geometrical data. Whether the design is a power transistor, flat panel display or VLSI chip, an extremely performing hierarchical database is required to hold the huge volume of information and to implement a logical hierarchy within the layout itself. dw-2000’s high performance database promotes the use of hierarchy by providing editing modes and commands that ease the creation, use and management of hierarchically distributed layout designs.

dw-2000 databases are binary compatible across all supported platforms and deliver quick response, regardless of the edit location or the size of the layout you're designing. Opening time for even the largest structures is extremely fast. Larger chip size and higher chip density have a minimal effect on database performance.

The database includes the following features:
  • all angle elements
  • up to 4096 element coordinates (with 200 compatibility warning)
  • 0.05° to 180° arc angle range
  • rotational placements within 0.00000001°
  • support of 256 Layers and 256 Types (with compatibility warnings)
  • 99 levels of hierarchy (symbol nesting)
  • unparalleled access speed
  • up to seven linkable and shareable reference libraries
  • a 64-bit coordinate system yielding a maximum design area of 4.3 meters2 with a resolution of 0.001 microns
  • binary compatibility across platforms
  • support of imperial and metric user units
  • industry standard GDSII structures and elements

Edit-in-Place and Multi-Context Editing

In a true hierarchical layout design strategy, it is of utmost importance that designers be able to freely navigate through the hierarchy. dw-2000 allows this via two methods: edit-in-place and multi-context editing. Edit-in-place refers to the ability to move your editing context through the hierarchy of the nested elements and automatically maintain and propagate changes made in a cell throughout the design. Multi-context editing, by contrast, allows you to simultaneously open up to 5 structures, each having its own editing window where independent editing functions can be performed. In this mode, data can be copied from one window to another, across cells, and across hierarchies. These features greatly enhance the productivity associated with the maintenance of layouts and, ultimately, the quality of your designs.

As you work, the dw-2000 information windows are continuously updated to enable you to effectively track your layout activities. You can position and size all dw-2000 windows, making editing and object information available at a glance.

Fully Customizable

dw-2000 provides a comprehensive set of mechanisms to customize the way users interact with the system. This system allows users to create and modify menus, toolbars, shortcut keys, etc. Users can assign to their new elements any functionality available through the GPE, including a custom command sequence. The standard dw-2000 user interface is built with those same mechanisms that are provided to the user.


The dw-2000 Layout Editor is a full-featured physical layout design system that is fully native to the GDSII standard. This is crucial since the GDSII standard is the only acceptable standard for exchanging hierarchical layout data for mask-making purposes. Because designs produced using dw-2000 natively conform to this standard, users can fully exploit the Layout Editor’s advanced features without the fear of interpretation pitfalls that could later jeopardize a mask design. The Layout Editor supports, for example, full utilization of GDSII concepts such as DataTypes and Element Properties