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What is LASI ?

LASI (LAyout System for Individuals) is a "general purpose" layout and design system originally intended for integrated circuits. It is versatile enough that it can be used for ICs, MEMS, other technologies, discrete devices, schematics, PC boards and project documentation drawings. LASI is intended mainly for educational use. LASI is freeware.

A very simple version of LASI was written for MS-DOS in the mid-80's. When Windows arrived, LASI was rewritten as version 6 for Windows. The current version 7 is more elegant, functional and is intended to run on Windows versions XP, Vista or Windows 7 or 8.

LASI does NOT replace commercial design software. When submitting actual designs for processing approved commercial software should be used.

LASI is mainly intended for students. It teaches a better understanding of what you are really doing. To use LASI, you need to know something about your technology, the physics involved and have some circuit intuition, not just know how to run software. It is for people who still consider IC design something of an art.

The original intention of LASI was to aid commercial design systems. It still can have that purpose since layout work can be done on any Windows desktop or laptop, and most Linux systems using Wine, A layout can then be transferred using common graphic formats such as GDS.

LASI also runs portably. You can install the system on a flash drive or other removable drive and work on drawings also stored on that same drive. Portable operation lets you do work on any convenient PC without leaving any files on that PC. This is handy for presentations and for student projects.

Drawings are built from hierarchical cells stored as individual TLC (Transportable Layout Cell) files. TLC files can be easily traded between different drawings. TLC files are in a basic XML format.

LASI consists of a main drawing editor program and several "utility" programs. These utilities include GDS, CIF and DXF format converters, a user programmable bitmap based DRC, a basic matrix router, and a Spice netlist compiler that extracts Spice circuit files from both schematic and layout. The utilities can run independently or directly out of the editor.

LASI compiles Spice netlist files but does not do simulations. There are good Spice simulators available already. Spice simulations can be quite customized and are better not integrated into LASI. However most simulators can run directly out of the main editor or the Spice compile utility. To use Spice with LASI you should know a little about Spice netlist format and commands.

For anyone who is not familiar with LASI or its utilities there is a large built-in Help file system.

Although it is well developed software by now, LASI is still an ongoing project. There is always something that you can add, improve or fix. Watch this site for the latest version. Updates are approximately every few months, sooner if necessary.

What's New ?


  • Improvements to the Print  (or hard copy) command.

  • The text reference mark no longer prints on hard copies.

  • The cell origin mark only prints on hard copies if shown on the screen (R-key or toggle).

  • More elaborate  Print command Help.

  • The text font file Font5.tff has been added to the standard Font command list.

  • The Cmd  command "Safe Mode" has been replaced with :"Build Mode" that will only add objects to a drawing.

  • The Cmd command now has a "Step" button that  will only show and execute one script command line at a time.

  • If a script  command is being run, but fails, it is cleared and Aput  is executed and Get becomes the resident command.

  • If a script is being run, but fails, the original drawing can be recovered by a simple Undo

  • The Polar Cursor (P- key or toggle) can be turned on and off during the execution of a cursor input command. 

  • When a cell is loaded the Polar Cursor is turned off and the resident command is reset to Get.

  • Some changes to pop-up text message in most programs.

  • As usual updates to Help files.


  • A check for missing TLC cell files has been added at Lasi7 startup.

  • The Remove command now only deletes the cell name from the Cell Collection list and keeps the TLC file,

  • When a cell is loaded a Load Backup file is saved that can be retrieved if you just want to reload the original cell. or even if Windows crashes. 

  • The "S" toggle button has been removed. Now pressing CTRL causes Draw to draw small objects and lower cell text reference points.

  • When executing a Script File with the Cmd command each command now is stepped and displayed one command at a time. 

  • Better checks are now made in program setups for illegal characters in cell names and file names.

  • The Spice compiler program LasiCkt has had several internal changes. See LasiCkt Help for more details.

  • The Lasipgl7.exe external program has been renamed to Lasihpgl7.exe since it writes only HP-GL code. 

  • A LasiHpgl utility button that runs Lasihpgl.exe has been added to the System Mode menu. 

  • The Maketff font file editor has been moved to a menu button in System Mode.

  • The text characters drawings now install as a standard drawing "Chars'".

  • A new text font file Font4.tff has been included that is similar to block Font3 but has more readable characters..

  • Browse buttons in most programs now have an "All Files" viewing choice.

  • As usual, minor changes to programs and Help files.

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