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Layer Expressions

Many of the design rules, extraction specifications, and commands make use of ``layer expressions''. These expressions are used to signify regions of the layout where certain combinations of layers (or absence of layers) exist. A layer expression consists of a logical expression, in the format recognized by the script parser used to evaluate script files.

The expression may contain physical layer and derived layer (see 15.2) names, functions from the list below, operators from the table below, numeric constants, and parentheses to enforce precedence. In its simplest form, a layer expression is a layer name, which can be thought of as a list of regions corresponding to the dark areas (boxes, polygons, and wires) of that layer. A numeric value of zero represents emptiness, and a nonzero value represents full coverage.

When a layer expression is evaluated in the !layer command or the Evaluate Layer Expression panel, the result is always a normal layer, thus derived layers can be made visible by this means. If the layer expression represents a simple copy, the created physical layer will take any attributes of the derived layer (color, fill, etc.) that were given to the derived layer.

If the names of any defined layers are numeric values, one must be a little careful when specifying the equivalent numeric value, since a layer name interpretation will supersede a numeric interpretation. For example, in the presence of a layer named ``1'', one could use ``1.0'' to specify the number 1. A four-digit hex number is always assumed to be a layer name, even if a layer of that name does not presently exist. This is necessary so that when reading the technology file, layer expressions can reference layers with numerical names (likely from GDSII conversion) that have not yet been defined. Layer names in the ``decimal'' format must be double quoted, e.g., "22,0".

The layer name token can actually take an extended syntax which enables extraction of geometry from cells other than the current cell.

lname[.stname][.cellname]

See the description of the !layer command in 19.13.2 for a description of this syntax and examples.

The following operators are accepted in layer expressions:

& or * intersection
| or + union
! inversion
^ exclusive-or
- and-not, i.e., A - B = A&!B
and synonym for &
or synonym for |
not synonym for ! or -
xor synonym for ^

The operator-equivalent keywords (and, or, not, xor) are recognized without case sensitivity. The not keyword can represent a unary negation or a binary ``andnot'', depending on the context. Thus, for layers A and B, each of the following are equivalent: A not B, A - B, A &! B, A and not B.

Parentheses can be used to enforce precedence.

The expression returns an internal data structure representing those regions of the current cell where the expression is true, i.e., where the layers exist with the given logic.

There is a special layer named ``$$'' which logically consists of boxes covering each of the subcells in the current cell.

The !layer command can create a new layer from a layer expression, and is therefor a good vehicle for experimenting with layer expressions.

The tokens are interpreted as they would be in an ordinary expression involving numbers, thus their precedence might not be quite as expected in layer expressions. For example

!layer CAA = !CAA & $$
and
!layer CAA = !CAA * $$
are not equivalent. The latter expression is equivalent to
!layer CAA = !(CAA & $$)
since `*' has higher precedence than `&'. The equivalent expression is
!layer CAA = (!CAA) * $$
(recall that `$$' is the name for an internal layer consisting of subcell bounding boxes).

The following function calls are supported in layer expressions. Only the functions listed below are available, and all return a layer expression object.

sqz(layer_exp expr)
This is a special function that evaluates the layer expression passed as an argument, but the geometry for the given layers is obtained from the selection queue (the currently selected objects), and not the entire cell as in the normal case. It can be freely used within a larger layer expression.

Below are some examples, using the !layer command.

!layer new = sqz(CPG-CAA)
Create a layer ``new'' that will contain the selected objects on CPG clipped around selected objects on CAA.
!layer new = VIA & sqz(M2)
Create a layer ``new'' that will contain the areas of VIA that overlap selected objects on M2.
!layer CPG = CPG - sqz(temp)
Clip out the selected objects on layer temp from CPG.

bloat(real incr, layer_exp layer, int mode)
This expands the features on the layer by incr (in microns), which may be negative. The effect is similar to the !bloat command and the BloatZ script function. The mode integer is described with the !bloat command.

extent(layer_exp layer)
This evaluates to a trapezoid list containing at most one entry, a rectangle giving the bounding box of the expression result. The return is null if the expression is nowhere dark. This is similar to the ExtentZ script function.

edges(real incr, layer_exp layer, int mode)
This creates an edge list, similar to the EdgesZ script function. See the description of that function for the edge modes available. The modes 0-3 are equivalent to returns from the bloat function when returning the edge template, for the four corner fill-in modes.

manhattanize(real dimen, layer_exp layer, int mode)
This converts the representation to a Manhattan approximation. The first argument is the minimum width or height in microns of rectangles that are created to approximate the non-Manhattan parts. The third argument is an integer taken as zero or nonzero to specify which of two algorithms to use. This is similar to the !manh command (where the algorithms are described), and to the ManhattanizeZ script function.

box(real l, real b, real r, real t)
This defines a rectangular region from the four real arguments, which can be used for clipping or construction in layer expressions. The coordinates are given in microns. This is similar to the BoxZ script function.

zoid(real xll, real xlr, real yl, real xul, real xur, real yu)
This defines a horizontal trapezoid region from the six real arguments, which can be used for clipping or construction in layer expressions. The coordinates are given in microns. This is similar to the ZoidZ script function.

filt(layer_exp zoids, layer_exp lyr2)
This function is rather specialized. First, the trapezoids passed in the first argument are separated into groups of mutually-connected trapezoids. Each group is like a wire net. We throw out the groups that do not intersect with nonzero area the dark area implied by the second argument. The return value is a list of the trapezoids that remain.

geomAnd(layer_exp lyr1 [, layer_exp lyr2])
If one argument is given, the result is the overlapping parts of regions in the internal list corresponding to the argument. This is only useful if the argument was explicitly constructed with geomCat (see below). With two arguments, this is equivalent to the intersection operator. The function is similar to the GeomAnd script function.

geomAndNot(layer_exp lyr1, layer_exp lyr2)
This is equivalent to the and-not operator, and is similar to the GeomAndNot script function.

geomCat(layer_exp lyr1, ... )
This takes one or more layer expression arguments and simply concatenates the regions, without any merging or clipping, similar to the GeomCat script function.

geomNot(layer_exp lyr)
This is equivalent to the inversion operator, similar to the GeomNot script function.

geomOr(layer_exp lyr1, ...)
This takes one or more layer expression arguments and returns the union, constructed internally so that no two regions overlap. This is similar to the GeomOr script function.

geomXor(layer_exp lyr1 [, layer_exp lyr2])
If one argument is given, the return is the set of regions representing the exclusive-or of regions represented by the argument. This is only useful if the user has explicitly constructed the argument using geomCat. If two arguments are given, the result is the exclusive-or of the areas, equivalent to the exclusive-or operator. This function is similar to the GeomXor script function.

drcZlist(string layername, string rulename, integer index, layer_exp lyr1)
This will return the test areas based on an existing design rule definition, very similar to the DRCzList script function. This function exists only when design rule checking is included in the feature set.

drcZlistEx(layer_exp lyr1, tring target, string inside, string outside, integer incode, integer outcode, real dimen)
This will return the test areas based on the DRC test area generation specified by the arguments, very similar to the DRCzListEx script function. This function exists only when design rule checking is included in the feature set.

Examples:

!layer M2 = M2 & box(100, 100, 200, 200)
This clips M2 to the given box.

!layer M2 = bloat(5, M2, 0)
This bloats the M2 geometry by 5 microns.


next up previous contents index
Next: Derived Layers Up: The DRC Menu: Design Previous: The DRC Menu: Design   Contents   Index
Stephen R. Whiteley 2017-03-22