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Electrical and Computer Engineering

Mike Wiegers Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
3108 Engineering Hall
1701D Platt St.
Manhattan, KS 66506
Fax: 785-532-1188

Hours: Monday-Friday
8 a.m.-noon, 1-5p.m.

Cadence University Program Member

Kansas State University provides students with access to a number of software programs licensed from Cadence Design Systems.
Cadence software tools are installed on the PCs in the ECE computing lab. Some of them run under Windows, while others run only under Linux.  To use the latter, you will need to start up the VMware version of Linux on the machine.  All require a valid ECE account for access.
Software available includes:

  • Silicon-Package-Board (SPB) tools which contain the Allegra AMS Simulator and PC board layout tools (including Pspice) hosted on Windows 7
  • Custom IC and Digital IC design tools.  Hosted on Linux but available under Windows through K-State's "Cadence Launcher" program on Lab computers (through the magic of X-windows graphics transfer)

This software is used in a variety of courses, including:

  • ECE 525 and 526 Electronics courses (Uses SPB Schematic/simulation tools)
  • ECE 641 Advanced Digital Design Using Hardware Description Languages course (Uses Digital IC and/or related tools)
  • ECE 645 Digital Electronics course (Uses SPB Schematic/simulation tools)
  • ECE 696 Integrated Circuit Design course (Uses Custom IC tools)
  • ECE 690 Electronic Systems Layout and Implementation (Uses SPB PCB design tools)
  • ECE 765 Digital Radio Microelectronics Design course (Uses Custom IC tools)

The software is also used by graduate students and faculty working on academic research projects sponsored by various companies and government labs.  Examples of sponsors include:

  • Honeywell KCP (Uses Custom IC tools)
  • Sandia National Labs (Uses Custom IC tools)
  • NASA (Uses Custom IC tools and SPB PCB design tools)

Using the Software

Software hosted on the Windows PCs is available through the Windows Start menu and includes on-line documentation.

IC design software hosted on Linux is a bit more involved to setup and use. For a primer on how to use this software see your ECE696 class notes, and also see the on-line help pages and the tutorials created by other Cadence University Program member universities given in the links section above (especially the WPI tutorial !!).   

As of Spring 2013, we support improved access to the Linux-based Custom IC tools through  the K-State "Cadence Launcher" program developed by Matt Clewell. The lab computer must have the Xserver software installed so that you can use full-screen, multiple-monitor output.


The WPI tutorial page is a "must see" for anyone new to the Custom IC design tools. This link and the next link on the NCSU toolkit cover the process we use in our Introduction to VLSI course (ECE696) and is also good background reading. Following these IC design links, there are two for "Pspice" and the associated PCB design software. Finally, check out the links to Cadence's own information and that of other university partners.


Cadence is a registered trademark of Cadence Design Systems, Inc., 2655 Seely Avenue, San Jose, CA 95134.