SVG for Remote EDA Schematic Representation

Extended abstract for submission to SVG Open 2004

Paul Murphy, Stephen Dawson, Sakir Sezer

Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Queens University of Belfast

Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools are the design centre of the almost $1 trillion electronics industry. These tools are used by computer and electrical engineers for the design and simulation of increasingly sophisticated systems. The complex and computation intense nature of EDA tools dictate not only the specification of the system required to run the tools but also the need for constant updates. These updates can often be difficult to install and costly for the vendors to supply. This could be resolved by service providers supplying an online Graphical User Interface (GUI) to these tools, which clients could access on a pay per use basis. Such an implementation has the capacity to provide both added revenue to large tool companies who permit their services to be consumed by users as well as a new design option for smaller companies to explore.

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) has been used to represent various types of physical and geographic maps (SVG Open 2002/2003). EDA design schematics are analogous to geographic maps. In the same way maps range in size, schematics range in complexity. Each entity on a map can have properties, for example, a mountain peak would have a certain name and altitude value, while in electronic schematics each component would have a certain id and associated parameters. Similar to geographic route planners, signal routing can be performed on a circuit. This allows designers to analyse timing and delay characteristics of both components and the circuit as a whole.

This paper presents extensive research into the graphical translation of output schematics from common EDA tools. Finally a translator is developed to convert from the proprietary formats outputted by EDA tools to the universal web based graphical representation standard SVG. The interface to this system is built using Active Server Pages (ASP). The raw materials inputted into the system are EDIF Netlists. These are circuit representations easily exported from mainstream EDA Tools such as Synopsys and Synplify Pro. The Netlists are converted to EdaXML format using an XML Document Type Declaration (DTD) defined by E-Tools. A script then uses the Microsoft Document Object Model (XMLDOM) to parse the EdaXML. The system interprets the electronic circuit layout using an SVG library of electronic symbols to build a graphical view of the circuit schematics. The result is an SVG graphic file of the desired circuit that allows clear viewing of the design along with the identification of signal routing and component parameters from a web browser.