Cadence University Program Member

This page contains information about the software used within the Iowa State University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Very Large Scale Integrated (VLSI) circuit design and Radio Frequency (RF) design, including tutorials on how to use them and a debugging page that lists all the common problems and their solutions.

Cadence University Program

Below is information about the Cadence software used at Iowa State University. For more information about the vendor or any of its other products, please visit the Cadence website.

Iowa State has been involved in teaching and research in the VLSI area for more than 20 years. Currently, there is substantial teaching and research in the areas of analog and mixed-signal design and digital VLSI CAD. The Cadence design environment incorporates the main tools that are used for those purposes.

We use the tools developed by Cadence Design Systems in graduate and undergraduate research and teaching. To be more precise, we use them to design, and simulate circuits at the schematic view, draw circuit layout, perform post-layout simulations of the transient, frenquency and dc type, simulate hardware description language files and perform the elaboration, floorplanning, placement, and routing of a digital system.

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers the following courses in this area: EE 330, EE 435, EE 465, EE 501, EE 505, EE 507, EE 508,  EE 514, CprE 563, CprE 564, and CprE 566. See more information on ECpE courses.

Faculty members associated with the VLSI program are Degang Chen, Chris Chu, Cheng Huang, Randall Geiger, Nathan Neihart, and Santosh Pandey. Learn more about the VLSI research group.


For tutorial on the Cadence design environment at Iowa State University, please refer to the the wiki at wikis.ece.iastate.edu/vlsi or the EE 434 course website.

Design Kits

At Iowa State University, we use different design kits along with the Cadence environment. The users chose a certain kit depending on class or research requirements.

For teaching purposes, we use use a kit that has been developed by NC State University. More documentation about it is on NCSU’s Web site. This kit is free of charge and includes the following processes:

  • AMI06
  • AMI16
  • HP06
  • TSMC04_4M2P
  • TSMC04_4M
  • TSMC02
  • TSMC03

For teaching purposes, the AMI06 process is the one currently used, along with standard cells for digital placement developed at Iowa State University.

Other kits are used for research-oriented work and are given access to after signing a non-disclosure agreement form. Examples include: TI90, AMI06, IBM 6HP, TSMC018, TSMC025, and TSMC035. These contain proprietary information.

For permission to use these kits, please contact Randall Geiger or Nathan Neihart.

Page updated 12/22/20 by Kristin Clague
Cadence is a registered trademark of Cadence Design Systems, Inc., 2655 Seely Avenue, San Jose, CA 95134

Information is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind. No statement is made and no attempt has been made to examine the information, either with respect to operability, origin, authorship, or otherwise. Please use this information at your own risk. We recommend using it on a copy of your data to be sure you understand what it does under your conditions. Keep your master intact until you are satisfied with the use of this information within your environment.