Last modified 4/04/08
EECS Instructional ComputingBecause you're enrolled in an EECS course, you have access to the instructional computing system (called "inst"). However, you do not have access to campus-wide services, such as free copies of Exceed.
Inst provides login servers running Unix (and, less usefully, Windows). For some reason, people tend to log in to cory, as a result of which it sometimes runs very slowly. When you log in to a server, use who to see how many people are logged in. The servers work similarly, although some software may be absent on some machines. You are not required to use software on the instructional servers if you have access to identical or equivalent software elsewhere.
SUGAR (CAD for MEMS)
We will be using Sugar this semester - an open source CAD for MEMS package which is used with Matlab(R). Sugar provides a netlist interpreter (similar to its IC counterpart Spice) as well as the ability to solve small, coupled systems of differential equations with Matlab(R).
To use Sugar, you will need either a local copy of Matlab or you will use Matlab from your instructional UNIX account. Instructions for both are listed below.
Status for Spring '08: I have tested Sugar in Windows on Matlab R2007a, and it works. Instructional Computing tried to get Sugar to run in UNIX on a recent version of Matlab, with no success. It appears that Sugar is incompatible with their version of UNIX. The UNIX instructions below use an older version of Matlab; I have tested this and it also works.
For your project, you will also be using Cadence design suite to lay out your designs. It will run on cory.eecs, but pulsar usually runs faster. Inst provides a summary of the installation, and troubleshooting guide.
We have a short tutorial for getting used to some of the layout features in Cadence, but don't hesitate to ask questions about it.
Here are instructions for how to export a GDS file from Cadence. This non-proprietary format describes your layout in terms of simple shapes, and is useful for sharing designs with other people.
Inst makes Cadence's official documentation available online. You'll need to log in with your class account to access it. This documentation is extensive and generally quite good.
If you are using your own copy of Cadence, here is the PolyMUMPS techfile in ASCII form.
Software Required for Instructional Accounts
You will need an ssh program and an X-Windows Manager to log in to instructional Unix servers. If you have a Unix computer, it probably has ssh. Students can download SSH for Windows or Putty. Putty is less user-friendly, but supposedly more secure.
Students will also need an X Window manager (such as Exceed on a PC). Microsoft Windows doesn't include it, and unfortunately, we don't have one to give away. Alternative sources for the NTU students include:
To display graphics, you'll either have to set the display variable or tunnel the connections. Since this is different for most versions of ssh/x-windows, let your course consultant know if there are problems. To test and make sure everything is working properly,
If it opens up a new window for you, you're good. If not, something isn't working properly. If it's not obvious, try contacting your consultant first before going to firstname.lastname@example.org.