EDA Scripting Unleashed (Voted-Best-Paper)

Author:  James Masters, Intel

In many traditional design flows, high-performance robust EDA capabilities are limited to formal EDA tools. Design Automation (DA) engineers build additional project-specific capabilities either by using an EDA tool’s proprietary scripting API or by creating a standalone lightweight script that relies upon translation of design data into other formats. This results in extra runtime overhead, additional possible points of failure, and a burden of working with lossy design data formats.

With the advent of oaScript, DA engineers can quickly write scripts that directly read and write OpenAccess (OA) data using one of their favorite scripting languages – Perl, Python, Ruby, or Tcl. Also, a new OA extension is now available which provides high-speed layer manipulation and boolean operations directly within an oaScript – called “oaxPop” (OA eXtension Polygon Operators).

The combination of oaScript with oaxPop enables a DA engineer to write high-performance robust EDA capabilities without the overhead of using a formal EDA tool. This presentation will demonstrate how oaScript and oaxPop have been used together to create real-life applications that are used in a production design flow.



James Masterjames_master_1000x1000s graduated from the University of Phoenix with a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology with an emphasis on computer programming. He has worked at Intel Corporation for 20 years in various full-custom design implementation roles.

James is currently managing a team focused on improving custom layout productivity for Intel’s advanced process technologies. James is an advocate of open standards that help streamline the design flow and maximize productivity and reuse.

Outside of work James enjoys outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, hiking, gardening, etc.

Si2 Special Interest Groups—Forums for Collaborative Problem Solving







By Ted Paone
Si2 Interoperability Standards Architect

It is a new year but those design issues you could not fix last year are still robbing your company’s productivity. The problems didn’t stop at the beginning of this year, and there are less time and limited staff to find the solutions.  Well, you are not the only one. In my many years as a corporate application engineer for a large EDA company, I’ve heard the same stories told again and again, with slight variations and a different cast of characters. If I could only get them in the same room, we could discuss the insights to solve these common problems, but that could be collusion with all its consequences.

In 2017, you are no longer alone. The Special Interest Groups (SIG) set up under the anti-trust protection of Si2 allow you to solve design problems with other companies in the industry, sharing hundreds of years of knowledge of designers to address common issues. Si2, as a research and development joint venture, provides an opportunity to collaborate with like-minded companies to identify, document and even solve problems in the electronics/photonics design fields.

Within the Si2 structure, SIGs can be formed to address general or specific design topics such as Silicon Photonic/Electronic Co-Design, Process Design Kit Generation or Design Migration. The SIGs are the incubator for ideas within the Si2 structure. The SIG can create industry surveys to find and prioritize the issues and work with other industry groups to develop roadmaps. Members can jointly write white papers and present at conferences. Using the Si2 infrastructure, the SIG can spawn projects including prototyping implementations, developing standards and creating training and documentation.

sig-chart-copyA special interest group gathers the information and incubates the ideas. The multiple SIGs share their expertise. These ideas feed additional groups through papers, standards, workshops and project and prototype requirements. Project implementation is performed by members themselves or through the Si2 Working Groups under OpenStandards with the support of the working group members. The working groups spring up to complete a project, and the results are available to working group members. Some of the projects directly affect production design standards coalitions, OpenAccess and the Compact Model Coalition. Graduate and undergraduate students participate in development under the mentorship of the SIG and working group members to create the standards and implementations and supporting information. All this is done under the protection of Si2.

Si2 primary mission is identifying common problems and providing paths to solutions. Starting with the Special Interest Groups, the Si2 structure efficiently extends the industry’s resources, enabling collaborative development while protecting proprietary IP. What can we help each other with today?


Si2 is a research and development joint venture that provides collaborative research and development leading to accelerated interoperability solutions and standards. As defined by the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, activities conducted under the auspices and guidance of Si2 receive a large measure of protection against federal anti-trust laws.