About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3209-3214
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-615-5563-5
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 5-7 March, 2012
Location: Valencia, Spain

CUSTOMIZING DISTRIBUTIONS BASED ON LINUX. A NEW SOFTWARE TOOL TO SIMULATE AND DESIGN INTEGRATED CIRCUITS

INTRODUCTION
The practical sessions of a subject related to the design of integrated circuits (IC) need some kind of simulation tool since the physical implementation of the device is out of reach of a teaching laboratory. Unfortunately, the price of the licenses of these simulation programs is sometimes too expensive for a University department. Moreover, the professional solutions for the simulation of IC run in operating systems (OS) based on Unix, being necessary workstations and server systems until quite recently. Some years ago, the acquisition of these types of special computers was another obstacle in order to carry out simulations and designs (especially layouts) in practical sessions of a subject related to IC. Nowadays, software companies are more flexible allowing the programs installation in personal computers, but only on environments based on Unix. In this sense, a company like Cadence (world reference in IC design software) offers its programs for Sun/Solaris, HP-UX, IBM AIX and Linux OS. Nevertheless, as commented earlier, the license prices of professional tools like Cadence are unaffordable for a University department whose research is not focused on IC design.

APPROACH
In this context, some lecturers dealing with IC subject have developed their own programs or have carried out an adaptation and compilation of free programs [1]. In most of the cases, this implemented software is composed by several applications which must be installed one by one. Sometimes this process might be very critical, because if one of the steps is not completed successfully, running the included programs will not be possible. Additionally, the commented programs are usually supported by Windows OS. This aspect is a good solution for the student but it is a bad approaching to the environment used in professional areas of IC design.

DESCRIPTION OF THE IMPLEMENTED SOFTWARE TOOL  
In this work the implemented Software Tool (ST) will be presented. This ST is based on free software addressed to IC simulation and design. This ST has been implemented by customizing a Linux distribution. In this sense, the most appropriate applications to carry out practical sessions of subjects related to the design of IC have been included. The use of a Linux OS provides the student with a good approaching to the Unix OS, with the advantage offered by Linux OS of being installed in a personal computer. On the other hand, Linux OS has tools that make possible to create, in an easy way, an ad hoc distribution whose installation -or execution from DVD in live mode- is very easy. Moreover, the legal aspects related to the commented OS make possible to release the developed distribution in a free way. The programs included in the implemented ST are suitable to create and simulate IC schematics and layouts. A flash movie presentation is executed when the user enters the system, helping him/her to use the programs by means of flash tutorials.

RESULTS  
The commented software tool has been successfully tried during three academic years in the practical sessions of the subject named Circuit Design and Electronic Systems, which is taught in the Telecommunications Engineering degree at The University of Jaén. 

References:
[1] F. Serra-Graells, A.Uranga and N. Barniol, Analog Integrated Circuit Optimization Using SPICE, Proceedings of the Fifth European Workshop on Microelectronics Education (EWME), pp.169-174, Lausanne, Switzerland, 2004, ISBN 1-4020-2072-4
@InProceedings{MUNOZ2012CUS,
author = {Mu{\~n}oz, J.V. and Nofuentes, G. and Garc{\'{i}}a-Domingo, B. and Torres, M.},
title = {CUSTOMIZING DISTRIBUTIONS BASED ON LINUX. A NEW SOFTWARE TOOL TO SIMULATE AND DESIGN INTEGRATED CIRCUITS},
series = {6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-5563-5},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {5-7 March, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {3209-3214}}
TY - CONF
AU - J.V. Muñoz AU - G. Nofuentes AU - B. García-Domingo AU - M. Torres
TI - CUSTOMIZING DISTRIBUTIONS BASED ON LINUX. A NEW SOFTWARE TOOL TO SIMULATE AND DESIGN INTEGRATED CIRCUITS
SN - 978-84-615-5563-5/2340-1079
PY - 2012
Y1 - 5-7 March, 2012
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2012 Proceedings
SP - 3209
EP - 3214
ER -
J.V. Muñoz, G. Nofuentes, B. García-Domingo, M. Torres (2012) CUSTOMIZING DISTRIBUTIONS BASED ON LINUX. A NEW SOFTWARE TOOL TO SIMULATE AND DESIGN INTEGRATED CIRCUITS, INTED2012 Proceedings, pp. 3209-3214.
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