2 Replies Latest reply on Jul 15, 2008 5:03 PM by James

    Should Calibre Interactive be improved?






      Specifically, my comments will be focused on using the Calibre Interactive (GUI) for xRC but it could apply to the other flows as well. We have many users of the GUI at my company including myself  that have become very familiar with it's layout and features. However, I find that there is still one aspect of the GUI that is annoying. The structure of the GUI for xRC is global in nature i.e. the settings are not organized by any particular type of extraction.



      Using the GUI for xRC is very nice mainly because most of the vast array of options that can be used to customize the desired final netlist are available somewhere in the menus, buttons or tabs. The problem is it can take a bit of navigating and setting of options before you are finally able to perform as an example a lumped capacitance extraction of a selected net that excludes stdcells. It is more challenging for the users that are new to the GUI or xRC.



      Fortunately, Mentor has provided the ability to save the state of the GUI as a file (runsets) and then reload that file when that same flow is desired. They have also provided a means of customizing the GUI. At our company we do make heavy use of runsets but more than that we have a way of managing the runsets so that people can quickly run a specific type of flow.



      I'd like to suggest that most users not just at our company (since we have in some ways worked around the problem already) would be able to more quickly perform extraction tasks if Mentor reorganized the GUI to be extraction task centric. Here are some possible benefits:


      • There would'nt be uncertainty whether you set all the right options for the given task.

      • This would eliminate the confusion that sometimes exists when you don't know whether an option applies to the type of task your doing.

      • There are many common extraction tasks such as those in chapter 6 of the xRC User's Manual that could be offered.

      • Options that are common to all extraction tasks would be separated so that no matter what you're doing you know you need to set those things first.

      • The environment variables  that control extraction could also be grouped by extraction task and set to an appropriate setting.

      • Offer extensibility to developers so they have the ability to add a custom flow.



      Let me know what you think.






        • 1. Re: Should Calibre Interactive be improved?


          Hi Daran. I think that this would be a great idea. So are you imaging that options would be greyed out that option doesn't apply to the flow? Or are you imaging that the contents of the windows would change depending on the flow selected. One example I can think of is a wizard. For example, by selecting RCC extraction, then more options come up, like reduction. Or if you select inductance, then all of the inductance options would then show up.






          I agree that Calibre Interactive for xRC has a lot of options, and is not too well organized by type of extraction.



          • 2. Re: Should Calibre Interactive be improved?


            Hi Daran,






            Calibre Interactive PEX does have pretty much everything in it. The runsets are exactly the way to go when it comes to managing the different xRC flows or tasks that you want to do. It sounds like you have things working, but I can also clearly see why you're asking to have things organized more by xRC task. I ran into a similar situation setting up multiple DRC and LVS runsets for users running Calibre Interactive from Virtuoso.



            I had three different DRC runsets, an ERC, and two LVS runsets. I ended up modifying the Calibre menu in Virtuoso which was simple enough such that DRC and LVS had different text that was meaningful to the users. Beneath that, I used Calibre Interactive triggers written in Skill to call the appropriate runset. It all worked well, but inevitably, users would want to change one of the options in the GUI and were not sure what was "okay" to change and what was not okay.



            Giving a more customizable environment to CAD does make sense. I think this would enable customized flows that would make a users life much easier. One that I've been asked about several times is combining the DRC and LVS runs together. It is possible today, but the GUI's not really designed to do that.