Cadence Install Guide

EEE5390 | Cadence Install Guide | Cadence Tutorial


Welcome to EEE5390. This year we will be designing, laying out, and simulating digital integrated circuits using a set of CAD/Verification tools from Cadence. These tools are often referred to collectively as "Cadence". Cadence has many versions of many tools available and we have several of these at UCF.

This semester we will use "Front to Back Design Environment 5.1.61," which contains latest tools for schematic editing and simulation, physical layout, verification, analog and digital simulation.

Getting Access

All students in the class (both undergrads and grads) should already have your accounts set up by EECS IT Support. If not, please put in a request to have your NID activated for our VLSI server by contacting Denise Tjong at
You could work on your PC or laptop at any place by remote access the VLSI server . (You need to use vpn if you are working outside the campus. ).

Installing Cadence 5.1.61

Cadence 5.1.61 is already installed on the VLSI server so you just have to set up your account properly to begin using it.
First you will create a working directory in your home directory by typing:

mkdir ~/cdscad6

Next you will set up your environment files.
  1. Copy the .bash_profile file to your home directory. You can use the command below:
    cp /home/jinyier/.bash_profile ~/
Note that after you copy the .bash_profile file to your own directory, you should log out and then log into the server again.

Installing the NCSU CDK

At this point we will install the NCSU CDK. This is a design kitdeveloped by folks at North Carolina State University. It contains all necessary information about the various processes available throughthe MOSIS foundry service including techfiles, design rules, devicemodels, etc.

  1. Copy the design kit files from my home directory to yours by typing:
    cp /home/jinyier/ncsu-cdk-1.6.0.beta.tar ~/
  2. Untar the file with the following command:
    tar xvf ncsu-cdk-1.6.0.beta.tar
  3. Copy the file ~/ncsu-cdk-1.6.0.beta/cdssetup/cdsinit to the working directory ~/cdscad6/ and rename it .cdsinit
    cp ~/ncsu-cdk-1.6.0.beta/cdssetup/cdsinit ~/cdscad6/.cdsinit

  4. Copy the file ~/ncsu-cdk-1.6.0.beta/cdssetup/cdsenv to the home directory ~/ and rename it .cdsenv
    cp ~/ncsu-cdk-1.6.0.beta/cdssetup/cdsenv ~/.cdsenv

  5. Create a new cds.lib file or edit your existing cds.lib. Either copy the file:

    into your working directory ~/cdscad6/,
    cp ~/ncsu-cdk-1.6.0.beta/cdssetup/cds.lib ~/cdscad6/
    or open it and paste the contents into your existing cds.lib.
    (New users: if you already have a cds.lib but you have never used Cadence before then you can just replace the old one.)

At this point you should be able to run ICFB and use the design kit. Please give it a try just to ensure that the setup went as planned. At the command prompt, type:

cd cdscad6

You should get two windows, a big one that says "Library Manager" atthe top, and a smaller one that says "icfb" at the top. The last linein this smaller window should read "Done loading NCSU_CDKcustomizations." If not, you did something wrong. Please re-read the directions and try again.

Note that after installation, you will continue to use the three commands above to launch Cadence tools.

File transferring from your computer to the server

In case you need to transfer files from your computers to the server or from the server to your computer, I suggest SSH for Windows users. You can download the SSH Client HERE. Unzip the package and download click 'SshClient.exe' to run the SSH Client.

Click the 'Quick Connect' to connect to the server (similar to the way we use PuTTY) and click the folder icon in the menu bar (the item with red circle). You can then drag files between your computer and the server.