I've told you in previous postings about some new features in Virtuoso IC6.1 which make it quick and easy to open cellviews you use frequently--namely the recently-opened files list (found in the CIW->File menu) and the ability to bookmark one or more cellviews (File->Bookmarks->Add Bookmark from any cellview window).
While these features mean that you can open that cell you work on every day with just a couple of mouse clicks and minimal mental exertion, there will always be a time when you need to go up in the attic and find the box with the Christmas lights. Next year for sure you're going to remember to label that darn box before you put it away...
As usual, I digress. I'm talking about the Library Manager. I know you're all accustomed to using the Library Manager every day (shame on you if you haven't yet tried either of the 2 features mentioned above...). You probably haven't noticed that there are 47 libraries listed there. 17 of them don't exist any more. 15 of them don't apply to your project at all. 7 of them are reference libraries which you don't have edit rights to. The other 8 are scattered all over the list. Why should you have to strain your already-overworked brain cells sorting through that mess? And what happens if you forgot that one of those libraries was just an experiment you tried once and forgot to delete when that version of the block never worked correctly? What happens if you pick that one as the basis for your new design instead of the one that worked? I don't know about you, but I've got enough gray hairs already...
So I wanted to point out 2 new features of the Library Manager which might help you streamline the way you view all that data.
Look at the Pretty Colors...
The first is the ability to customize the display attributes of any library. For example, you can specify that your reference libraries be shown in red text with a particular icon and your design libraries be shown in green text with a different icon. You can even hide some libraries so they don't get in your way, but are still accessible to the software. (Maybe you want to show your "experimental" libraries in a different color too...)
Basically the way you do this is to edit your cds.lib file. Somewhere after the DEFINE statement for a library, put the line:
ASSIGN <libName> DISPLAY <displayName>
where <displayName> is the name you're going to give to a particular set of display attributes (we'll get to that shortly).
Now when you open the Library Manager, select Edit->Display Settings. In that form, you'll be able to select your <displayName>(s) and change their colors, icons and other attributes.
All Together Now...
The 2nd new feature for library display is the ability to create "combined" libraries. Maybe you want to display all the reference libraries for your project under a single name in case you forget which cell is in which library. Don't worry, the libraries aren't physically combined, just displayed that way.
To do this, first you'll need to create a dummy directory with the name you want to give your combined library (kind of a kludge, but oh well). Then edit your cds.lib and add 2 lines:
DEFINE <combinedLibName> <pathToDummyDirectoryYouCreatedAbove>
ASSIGN <combinedLibName> COMBINE <lib1> <lib2> ...
These lines need to go after all the lib1, lib2, etc. libraries are defined.
That's it. Now when you open the Library Manager, you'll see your combined library name with a "+" sign next to it. If you click on the combined library name, you'll see all the cells in all the libraries combined. If you click the "+" sign, you can still access the libraries individually as usual.
You Do Know About Categories, Don't You?
BTW, if you look at the screenshot above, you also notice that each of my libraries has categories defined within it so I can further refine my cell selection by block or by celltype. That feature has existed in Virtuoso for years now and hopefully you're already making use of it (Hint: check out Edit->Categories from the Library Manager)
I'm running out of time right now, but you can read more about all these features in the Cadence Library Manager User Guide.
Until next time...