How many times have you wanted to look at a certain standard cell in the Encounter Digital Implementation (EDI) system, so you go hunting around the design to find one, or use the Design Browser to find one? Then you turn off the nets and special nets to see only the contents of the cell. Or, maybe the cell type you wanted to look at is not even in your netlist currently. Maybe you want to look at an INVX4, but there are only INVX2s and INVX8s in your design.
There is a little-known utility inside EDI called the Cell Viewer. It's available under the Tools menu:
When you start the Cell Viewer, a window will come up with a list of the cells that were loaded in the session (not just the ones that appear in the netlist) as well as a graphical window that will show the LEF view of the cell:
Standard cells are pretty easy to look at, since the LEFs have very few layers of metal. But what if you're looking at a RAM that has more metal layers? You may want to turn various layers on or off as you're examining the cell. This can be done with the Layer Control panel that you use all the time in EDI. If you happen to have a lot of things on your screen (and let's face it, what engineer doesn't?) it can be annoying to click in the EDI window to turn layers on/off. And then, the cell viewer gets sent to the background.
Here's how to fix that: un-dock the Layer Control panel! Yes, this is also a little-known feature of EDI, but you can click and drag the panel right where it says Layer Control, place it next to your Cell Viewer window, and go back and forth without windows getting lost behind one another.
I hope you find both the Cell Viewer and the Layer Control un-docking to be useful!
- Kari Summers