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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, 

LASI is a traditional Win32 application that should install and run on Windows versions XP, Vista, 7 or 8, and possibly Windows 10 if it supports Win32 programs on PCs. Windows 7 is currently preferred. 

LASI should also run with some limitations on most Linux systems using the Wine translator.

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, have some circuit intuition, and 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, A layout can then be transferred using common graphic formats such as GDSII, or commonly called just 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 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.

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. Most simulators can run directly out of the main editor or the Spice compile utility.

The utilities also include GDS, CIF and DXF format converters, Since LASI drawing structure is fairly similar to GDS LASI drawings be archived in GDS. Most other CAD systems read GDS. This allows LASI drawings to be moved to other CAD systems if desired or if LASI is not available.

 Utilities can run independently or directly out of the editor. For anyone who is not familiar with LASI or its utilities there is a large built-in Help file system.

What's New ?


  • The Edulib Cell Library and the Basic Tutorial have been revised to include Top.gds and Opamp.gds files
     examples of GDS conversion.

  • The GDS Record Text file written or read by the Tlc2Gds or Gds2Tlc utilities respectively now add "[NUL]" 
    to a string to indicate that the text string was extended to an even length of bytes by a null ASCII 0 character. 
    Even byte strings are required by GDS format.

  • The Imager tutorial now contains a Spice CIR file Imager_a_l1.cir compiled from the cell Imager_a_l1 
    by the LasiCkt utility. See the Imager tutorial layout and Help for more information.

  • The maximum text size has been increased by a factor of 10.

  • Several changes to various Help files.


  • Layers are now automatically limited to 1-256 by the Cnfg command Layer Editor.

  • Unused  layers are now initialized to 0 and named "NONE" in the Lasi7  Layer Table.

  • Unused Layer Table  check boxes are grayed-out in the  Lasi7  editor and several utility programs.

  • The Otatutor2 tutorial has been revised to include a "flat" version of the layout.

  • A possible compile error that caused a period  to be missing between a  device name 
    and a connector number in a Node List File made by LasiCkt version 7.0.86 should be fixed.

  • Right and Left check boxes for Connector Ends in the LasiMx utility setup were reversed and should be fixed.

  • The Gds2Tlc converter utility was always writing TLC files in the old style. This should be fixed.

  • Several  Addon tutorials have been updated and have had their Help files recompiled.


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