Software Tools


Process, Device, Circuit & System 


 Micro Magic

Cadence provides a set of electronic design automation (EDA) tools for electronics design.The ECE department site license for Cadence includes the following software.
2007 standard University Software Program bundles
  • Custom Integrated Circuits Bundle
  • Digital Integrated Circuits Bundle
  • Verification Bundle
  • Packaging and Board Bundle
Micro Magic, Inc. (MMI) provides design tools for high-performance and low power chips.
The MMI tools are available on the Linux workstations in ECE and the Engineering labs.



Silvaco provides high performance semiconductor process and device simulation (TCAD) tools. Some of the more common tools include:

  • Athena
  • Atlas
  • Deckbuild
  • DevEdit
  • DevEdit3D
  • Sedit
  • Tonyplot
  • Tonyplot3D

Synopsys provides ASIC, SoC design, FPGA, RTL design and electronic design automation tools and services. Some of the more common tools include:

  • Hspice
  • Nanosim
  • PT
  • Primetime
  • Synthesis
  • TCAD
  • TCAD-Sentaurus
  • Taurus-Medici


COMSOL Multiphysics® is a general-purpose software platform, based on advanced numerical methods, for modeling and simulating physics-based problems. With COMSOL Multiphysics, you will be able to account for coupled or multiphysics phenomena.


System Design 

Advanced Design System


ADS is a powerful electronic design automation software system. It offers complete design integration to designers of products such as cellular and portable phones, pagers, wireless networks, radar and satellite communications systems, and high-speed digital serial links.

HFSS is an interactive software package for calculating the electromagnetic behavior of a structure. The software includes post-processing commands for analyzing this behavior in detail.
Using HFSS, you can compute:

  • Basic electromagnetic field quantities and, for open boundary problems, radiated near and far fields.   
  • Characteristic port impedances and propagation constants.
  • Generalized S-parameters and S-parameters renormalized to specific port impedances.
  • The eigenmodes, or resonances, of a structure.



Bluespec System Verilog (BSV) is aimed at hardware designers who are using or expect to use Verilog, VHDL, or System Verilog to design ASICs or FPGAs. BSV is based on a synthesizable subset of System Verilog, including System Verilog types, modules, module instantiation, interface instantiation, parameterization, static elaboration, and "generate" elaboration.

Mentor Graphics provides a set of tools for system level design and verification, PCB design and analysis, IC design and verification, and embedded software. Mentor Graphics tools are available on the Linux and Windows workstations in ECE and the Engineering labs.


 Synplify Pro

Synplicity? Inc. is the leading supplier of FPGA synthesis software and an innovator in synthesis, verification, and physical implementation software solutions for designers of programmable logic devices (FPGAs, PLDs, CPLDs).

The industry's most widely used FPGA synthesis solution, Synplify Pro uses a true timing-driven approach to synthesis. Synplify Pro software delivers the performance you need to meet your design's timing requirements and then optimizes your circuit for area, saving significantly on chip cost.


 Synplify Premier

Identify RTL Debugger is the first software tool that allows you to probe and debug your FPGA design directly in the source RTL. You use Identify software to verify your design in hardware as you would in simulation – only much faster and with in-system stimulus.
The Identify tool allows you to navigate your design graphically and mark signals directly in RTL as probes or sample triggers. After synthesis, you view the results in the RTL source code or in waveform. Design iterations are rapidly done using incremental place and route. Identify software is closely integrated with synthesis and routing tools for a seamless development environment.

The Synplify Premier solution builds upon Synplicity's industry-leading synthesis technology and adds new graph-based physical synthesis and real-time, simulator-like visibility into operating FPGA devices. Graph-based physical synthesis provides rapid timing closure and up to a 5-20% timing improvement.

 Synplify DSP


Synplify DSP software is a true DSP synthesis tool and the only one that performs high-level DSP optimizations from a Simulink specification. These special DSP optimizations allow designers to capture the behavior needed for their DSP algorithm without worrying about the specific implementation in hardware. The Synplify DSP solution automatically produces a highly optimized, technology independent implementation of the design ready for RTL synthesis.

Certify ASIC prototyping solution is the leading product for ASIC prototyping using multiple FPGAs. Certify software combines RTL multi-chip partitioning with best-in-class FPGA synthesis. Using the Certify product makes ASIC prototyping significantly easier, shortens prototype development time, improves prototype performance, and enables faster time-to-market.

IBM Electromagnetic Field Solver Suite of Tools

A suite of full-wave and quasi-static electromagnetic field solver tools used to calculate the electrical parameters for interconnection and packaging design.
It includes full-wave two-dimensional and three-dimensional and quasi-static two-dimensional and three-dimensional tools, which are robust and accurate electromagnetic (EM) solvers for large problems. These solvers have unique features not otherwise available in the industry. The IBM Electromagnetic Field Solver Suite of Tools generates models for the signal and noise integrity analyses of critical system paths in order to afford multi-GHz operation.



Material Research

 Atomistix ToolKit (ATK)

  • Calculate electronic transport properties
  • DFT, Semi-Empirical, and Classical
  • Graphical interface
  • Integrate with VASP, Abinit, FHI-Aims, QuantumEspresso, and more


An integrated suite of Open-Source computer codes for electronic-structure calculations and materials modeling at the nanoscale. It is based on density-functional theory, plane waves, and pseudopotentials..



General Tools


Mathematica is available for ECE faculty, staff, and students. Mathematica is installed on the Windows and UNIX workstations in the ECI lab.


Matlab is licensed for use and available to UCSB College of Engineering faculty, staff, graduate, and undergraduate students. Matlab is available on the engineering ECI lab Windows and Linux workstations. Matlab is available for installing on individual workstations for College of Engineering faculty, staff, and graduate students.


Select Microsoft products are available through ECE Information Technology Support.
Primary among these are Microsoft Office (for faculty and administrative staff only), Windows XP Professional and Vista Business.