13 Free And Open Source Software For Chip Designing And Viewing

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Looking for free alternatives for the high cost Chip Designing and Viewing software? Here’s bringing a list of 13 free and open source software for your help. Enjoy!

Atithya Amaresh


1. Magic

Download Link: click here

Compatible OS: Windows, Linux

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The software is a VLSI layout tool. The download link for the windows needs cygwin to be installed before. Instructions can be found on the official website for the installation in windows.

2. ChipVault

Download Link: click here

Compatible OS: Linux, Windows

ChipVault is a VHDL and Verilog Chip Design Organization tool.

3. ECL Language and Compiler

Download Link: click here

Compatible OS: Linux

ECL is a system-level specification language for HW/SW designs and is based on Esterel and C.The ECL compiler parses ECL, writes Esterel and C, and uses the Esterel compiler to produce an implementation

4. FSMDesigner

Download Link: click here

Compatible OS: Windows

FSMDesigner is a C++ based implementation for a Finite State Machine (FSM) design tool with integrated Hardware Description Language (HDL) generation.

5. Gentbvhdl

Download Link: click here

Compatible OS: Windows, Linux

This utility has been developed primarily for those who are learning VHDL and want to do a quick validation of their design(s). However, this tool can also be used for design/DV purpose

6. Logic Analyzer

Download Link: click here

Compatible OS: Windows

Turn the Papilio One into a 32 channel Logic Analzyer.

7. OwlVision GDSII Viewer

Download Link: click here

Compatible OS: Windows, Linux, MAC

OwlVision is a free software project aimed at developing a GDSII viewer by using Java programming language. Virtually, the program can be run on all of the platforms, including MS Windows, MacOS, UNIX, GNU/Linux, etc.

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8. Papilio Arduino IDE

Download Link: click here

Compatible OS: Windows

Integrates the Papilio Loader and AVR8 Soft Processor into the Arduino IDE to allow seamless usage of the Arduino IDE with the Papilio One.

9. Papilio Loader

Download Link: click here

Compatible OS: Windows

Load bitstreams generated by Xilinx ISE to the Papilio One. Version 2.0 beta as Java GUI Windows version

10. RapidSmith

Download Link: click here

Compatible OS: Windows, Linux

RapidSmith is a research-based FPGA CAD tool framework written in Java for modern Xilinx FPGAs. Based on XDL, its objective is to serve as a rapid prototyping platform for research ideas and algorithms relating to low level FPGA CAD tools.

11. Signs

Download Link: click here

Compatible OS: Windows

Signs is a development environment for hardware designs in VHDL and other hardware description languages.

12. SOC Description Language

Download Link: click here

Compatible OS: Windows

SOCDL generates RTL register interfaces and supporting infrastructure for Systems On a Chip from a single-point-of-edit master register description. Template-driven design eases customization.

13. zamiaCAD

Download Link: click here

Compatible OS: Windows, Linux, Mac OSX

zamiaCAD is a modular and extensible platform for advanced hardware design, analysis, and research.


The writer is a senior correspondent at EFY, Gurgaon

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