Whiteley Research is developing the XicTools line of
integrated circuit design tools for Unix/Linux, Apple OS X, and
Microsoft Windows. These tools are targeted for the design of small
and medium scale digital and analog integrated circuits, primarily
those using cutting-edge technologies where performance is paramount.
However, the tools provide capibilities for working with very large
layout files, even with a modest computer. The product line
emphasizes flexibility and control in physical layout at the gate
level. The XicTools suite currently consists of
Xic, a graphical editor, and WRspice, a
circuit simulator, plus accessory programs and utilities. Derivatives
of Xic include XicII, a layout editor, and
Xiv, a layout viewer and file manipulation tool.
The XicTools binary distributions support any recent Linux
distribution, FreeBSD 7.0 or later, Apple OS X 10.4 or later, and
Microsoft Windows. Although the programs run under all
Windows releases, the Windows XP/Vista operating systems will provide
greater stability and improved performance. Other platforms and
operating systems can be supported, including Solaris and HPUX.
Contact Whiteley Research for more information.
(More info here.)
Xic is a graphical editor for physical layout and schematic
capture. A main window and multiple pop-up windows provide editing
capability for the electrical (schematic) and physical views of a
cell. The WRspice simulator is called upon in a seamless
manner to provide point-and-click simulation capability while in
electrical mode. Schematics can be generated by extracting the
netlist and device parameters from a physical layout, or from a SPICE
listing provided by the user. SPICE and other netlist format output
is available from the schematic, or directly from the physical layout.
Interactive design rule checking is provided, as well as the more
conventional batch-mode checking of physical layouts. Arbitrary
angles are supported in physical geometry. Properties can be assigned
to objects, and the property setting mechanism can be used to modify
the geometry of objects.
A simple, non-lisp scripting language and interpreter is provided,
with a debugging window that allows single stepping, breakpoint
setting, and variable tracing to facilitate script development. A
large collection of interface functions is provided, which enables the
user to automate many tedious layout functions. Scripts can be
executed through a "user" menu, by clicking on a label in the layout,
or by clicking on an anchor in the HTML-based help viewer.
Xic provides an extensive help system and on-line
documentation. The system is intended to by customized by the user,
as the file formats involved are simple and well documented. Scripts
can be executed, files loaded into Xic for editing, or
simulation runs initiated by WRspice by simply clicking anchors
in the viewer. This provides a very powerful documentation tool to
the Xic user.
Xic provides netlist and parametric extraction and
verification. Xic also provides a built-in partitioning editor
for the FastCap and FastHenry programs for
three-dimensional R/L/C extraction, as well as a simplified interface
to these programs.
Xic is multi-lingual, and will read and write files in GDSII,
OASIS, CIF, CGX, and the native format. Any of these file
types can be read into Xic without prior knowledge of what they
contain - Xic will add layers, etc., as needed. A single,
text-mode technology file provides all of the technology-specific
information used by Xic. Most of the attributes in the
technology file can be set from within Xic, and a new or
updated technology file can be generated with a mouse click.
Despite the high level of flexibility and power, Xic is
designed to be intuitive and easy to learn. Short-cuts, macros, and
scripts provide the potential for highly efficient and productive
operation. See the Xic description for more
(More info here.)
XicII is a very capable yet inexpensive ic layout editor based on
Xic technology. It provides the same user interface as Xic,
and is fully compatible, but is configured specifically for physical
layout editing. See the XicII description
for more information.
(More info here.)
Xiv is a very capable yet inexpensive ic layout viewer and
layout file manipulator based on Xic technology. It provides
the same user interface as Xic, and is fully compatible, but
does not provide the object-level editing capability. It does
retain the full capability for working with layout files, including
format translation, windowing, clipping, flattening, layer filtering
and aliasing, cell name modification, cell hierarchy extraction, and
more. See the Xiv description for more
(More info here.)
WRspice is an all-new SPICE-compatible simulator, written in
C++. It is compatible with with the industry-standard SPICE syntax
and many extensions used in other commercial SPICE simulators. It
offers a more fully-featured plotting capability, new vector
manipulation functions, artificial-intelligence based automatic units
tracking of vectors, and more.
WRspice works seamlessly with the Xic graphical
front-end for point-and-click schematic layout and simulation control,
though WRspice is highly effective as a stand-alone tool.
simulator. The device library includes the latest BSIM MOS
models, and SOI models from Berkeley and
WRspice includes A powerful graphics post-processor for output
representation. A toolbar with multiple graphical input windows
provides point and click operation of the many features and modes of
the simulator. The simulator is network-aware, and can use parallel
processing to speed certain types of analysis, such as operating range
and Monte Carlo. A scripting language and interpreter provide
programmability for automation. See the WRspice description for more information.
(More info here.)
Jspice3 in an enhanced version of Berkeley Spice3f4, with an
internal schematic capture capability. Although developed
specifically for simulation of circuits containing Josephson
junctions, Jspice3 is suited to other technologies as well.
Jspice3 is provided as source code (redistribution
restrictions apply). See the Jspice3
description for more information.
New! Jspice3 is free!
Jspice3 has been
superseded by WRspice, and is obsolete and no longer under
development. The last release, version 2.5, is now available
in the free software archive.
- Jspice3 does not support Microsoft Windows. The code is
supplied as a tarball that you must compile and run on a
unix-like system. However, it may be possible to build Jspice3 using
with X-libraries, and run using a PC X-server.
- It is not possible to provide a demo.
- The program is supplied "as is" with no guaranteed support.
- This is intended for students and experimenters.
How To Get A Demo
Whiteley Research will provide a free,
one month trial license for all products to potential customers for
evaluation purposes. The licensing requires some information about
the computer that is to receive the installation.
The programs will run on Windows XP and later versions. Obtain the licinfo.exe program, and run it on
your computer. This will create a file named "XtLicenseInfo" which
should be emailed to email@example.com.
- Unix/Linux/OS X
For OS X 10.6 and later (the "Darwin64" releases), the machine
serial number can be used as the license key. This choice is optional
but recommened, particularly for laptops. The problem with keying
from the IP or hardware address is that both of these can
change when logging on to different wireless networks. If the key
changes, the programs will not run.
To get a license keyed by the machine serial number, click to download
the maclicinfo script. Read the
script text for instructions: from a terminal window, make the script
executable, run it, and email the XtLicenseInfo file it
produces to firstname.lastname@example.org. A temporary license
file plus downloading and installation instructions will be provided
The programs are supported on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 (or
equivalent) or later, FreeBSD 7.0 or later, OS X 10.4 or later (yes,
OS X is classified as "Unix/Linux" since its core is actually
FreeBSD). Please provide the system's host name, and a static
IP address or ethernet address. The licinfo shell script will print this information
(be sure to chmod +x after downloading).
In either case, please include your name and organization, and
email the information to email@example.com. A
temporary license file plus downloading and installation instructions
will be provided in reply.
Whiteley Research products are available directly
Whiteley Research Inc.
456 Flora Vista Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94086 USA
(408) 245-4033 (Fax)
Contact the company for overseas representatives.
If you have questions or comments, please use the
Simplified price schedule
XicTools Product List Prices
Contact Whiteley Research for more information, and for
Custom Tool and Feature Development
Device Model Development
Why Choose Our Tools?
Our products offer features
found nowhere else, unmatched support, reasonable cost, and easy
installation and maintenance.
Given that the Internet is changing everything, our products are
designed to be Internet friendly. For example, the help system
doubles as a web browser, and the Xic graphical editor can open
a design file served by an HTTP or FTP server from any machine in the
world. The era of Internet-hosted design libraries, global
workgroups, and Internet-based EDA applications is dawning, and
our tools are uniquely ready.
Generation 3 only
The most recent releases are always available on this web site. The
programs can be configured to automatically check for updates on
startup, and updates can be downloaded and installed from "update"
commands within the programs. The entire update process takes only a
few seconds with a fast Internet connection. A copy of the existing
program is retained, in case of trouble with the new release.
The programs are in a constant state of improvement. New capability
is continually being added, bugs are fixed, operations are refined,
and efficiency is improved. While most users don't bother to install
every new release, users have the choice to update at their
convenience and according to their needs. The release notes are
available on this web site, and can be checked periodically for
announcements of new features that the user might find useful.
Major bugs are fixed immediately in the infrequent case that they are
found. Minor bugs are fixed in the scheduled release following their
discovery. What is "major" and "minor" to the user should be
communicated to Whiteley Research. If a user needs a problem
resolved, that problem will be resolved immediately.
Whiteley Research can provide program customization,
consultation and contract development on technology file generation,
automation scripts, and other topics. Contact the company for
information and quotations.
Whiteley Research supports three great operating systems:
FreeBSD, Linux, and OS X, plus Microsoft
Windows. Our products perform equally well on the the three
Unix-based operating systems. Under most conditions, performance
under Windows is equivalent.
The FreeBSD operating system is a
highly reliable and high-performance Unix for hardware based on the
Intel processor family and clones. It is an augmentation of Berkeley
BSD-4.4 Unix, amply supported with thousands applications, both
commercial and public domain (including applications intended for
Linux). The operating system has proven reliable in some of the most
demanding network server applications, and has become the choice of
many service providers and high-traffic web sites. For years, both of
our sites, at two different ISP's, were "powered by FreeBSD".
While maintaining high reliability, it is reasonably up-to-date with
respect to features and functionality. FreeBSD is the main
development platform for all Whiteley Research products.
Linux, another Unix-compatible
operating system, is also an effective and popular choice. The
Linux distributions generally have more support for non-standard
hardware, and provide the latest versions of popular software
packages "out of the box". Linux is also considered to be easier
for a newcomer to Unix to use and maintain. In short, Linux is
more of a "desktop" system, whereas FreeBSD is more of a "server"
system, but the line of separation is rather faint.
We have, however, encountered a numerical
issue in x86 glibc-based Linux which may affect the results of
programs ported from other operating systems. This is a difference
from traditional Unix behavior and not a bug. This does not affect
our products, and Whiteley Research unreservedly supports the major
When equipping a work group for integrated circuit design, a high-end
Intel/AMD system with high resolution graphics and monitor running
FreeBSD or Linux has advantages over a proprietary workstation, beyond
lower cost. Flexibility is a main consideration, including hardware
compatibility with other operating systems, which enhances the
system's utility. Raw performance can be equivalent to or better than
all but the most expensive, top-of-the-line proprietary workstations.
If the hardware breaks, repairs are inexpensive and may entail only a
trip to the local electronics store. The initial purchase avoids the
negotiation and uncertainty of dealing with workstation vendors' sales
organizations and resellers.
How can a public domain operating system be "better" than an operating
system supplied by a workstation vendor? Primarily because a large
community of Unix experts, many of whom have worked on the Unix
operating system for years, is connected into vast workgroups over the
internet. These people have organized themselves into highly
effective teams, motivated to produce the "best" operating system, bar
none. The competition between the different projects, (e.g., FreeBSD
and Linux) further accelerates progress. Since all source code is
released to the public, the best new ideas migrate quickly. All the
wealth of Microsoft could not buy this talent pool. These operating
systems, FreeBSD and Linux, represent (arguably) the state-of-the-art
in general-purpose operating system technology and (in the case of
BSD) reliability. Graphical user interface technology for these
operating systems (e.g., the GNOME and KDE projects) is advancing
rapidly, but as it stands, Unix/Linux is not for the casual user or
computerphobe. The Apple OS-X operating system is actually FreeBSD,
with a proprietary graphical user interface. Persistent Internet
rumors allege that Microsoft borrowed heavily from FreeBSD for the
networking code in Windows. Thus, this technology is slowly working
its way into the mainstream.
At present, the proverbial fly-in-the-ointment is compatibility. Some
commercial software is not supplied in versions compatible with
FreeBSD (or Linux, FreeBSD will run Linux software). Companies which
require that software have no choice but to buy the recommended
workstation, and probably hire a technician to keep it running.
Whiteley Research will never force customers into buying
Whiteley Research is now supporting the Windows operating system from
Microsoft. Due to its widespread deployment, and responding to
customer demand, we have made the (substantial) effort to port the
products to Windows, and can now offer this option to customers.