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
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
is intended to run on Windows versions XP, Vista or Windows 7 or 8.
For students LASI 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
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 PC or Laptop, Linux
systems using Wine, and then be transferred
using common graphic formats such as GDS.
LASI does not replace
commercial design software. When submitting actual designs for
processing approved commercial software should be used.
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 couple of months,
longer if few changes, sooner if necessary.