IC layout editor

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An Integrated circuit layout editor or IC layout editor is an electronic design automation software tool that allows a user to digitize the shapes and patterns that form an integrated circuit. Typically the view will include the components ( usually as pcells ), metal routing tracks, vias and electrical pins. Software of this type is similar to computer aided drafting software, but is specialized for the task of integrated circuit layout. The typical flow for the layout of analog circuits might be :

1. the layout engineer receives the schematic from the designer in electrical form
2. either the tool or the layout engineer creates a physical view of the circuit including all of the required components and electrical pins
3. the layout engineer positions the components to minimise both the area required and the negative effects of layout parasitics upon the circuit performance and also to allow good routing to neighbouring cells
4. the layout engineer uses metal routing to connect all of the components, again taking care to avoid unwanted layout parasitics on critical nodes
5. the layout engineer uses DRC and LVS checks to ensure that the circuit is both manufacturable and functionable

In some cases the layout engineer will request minor changes to the schematic to simplify the layout.