Random knowledge, projects, and musings by Sam Ellicott

07 Feb 2024

Open Source Circuit Design

These are my notes regarding the Open-Source IC design tools including their setup and usage. I will also try and post any tips and tricks that I find helpful.


I like to keep my EDA tools (particularly ones that modify the environment) out of my main system path. The OSS-CAD-Suite conveniently has a activation script to facilitate this use case, this is in line with the commercial EDA tools. It is particularly useful so that multiple versions of the tools can be installed at the same time without conflict. Install the CAD suite by extracting the release to a directory of your choice (I install to ~/.local/extra_packages/oss-cad-suite). To use the tools, you need to activate the environment, do this by running source <path to suite>/activate. However, I don’t like having to remember exactly where I put my tools in the path, so I use a “startup script” that I can copy to my project directory to activate the correct environment for me.

# Startup.OSS-CAD-Suite
# Activate environment by running "source Startup.OSS-CAD-Suite"
source "$OSS_CAD_HOME/environment"

Now, when I am in my project directory, I can just call

source Startup.OSS-CAD-Suite

and the cad suite environment will be set up for me. This is also very helpful for managing multiple versions of tools as I can have multiple startup scripts that source the activation script that was installed to an alternate directory.