ASM 3600
EGS to GDSII BiDirectional Translator


ASM 3600 is a bidirectional translator between Hewlett Packard's EGS Archive graphics database and the Calma GDSII stream format used for integrated circuit design.

This stand alone product enables HP's EGS drafting system and HP's MDS microwave design system to transfer data to a variety of other IC and electronic design CAD systems that support GDSII stream format.


  • Links EGS lines/arcs into GDSII boundaries
  • Runs on HP 9000 Series 300 with HP-UX
  • Supports full hierarchy in both directions
  • Configurable
  • Ideal for moving GDSII layouts to EGS
  • Supports Rev 6 of GDSII file definition
  • Batch mode processing


ASM 3600 is an intelligent translator. It has a sophisticated linking routine that is able to take vector data (lines and arcs) from the EGS database and form closed figures that are translated into GDSII as boundries.


ASM 3600 takes into account the differences between the EGS architecture and GDSII's more structured organization. Extensive error checking has been incorporated to prevent illegal or illogical data translation. Zero length lines and arcs are filtered out; if an illegal entity cannot be filtered out, an error message will be written to disk describing the problem and identifying the coordinates of the illegal entity.

Well Mannered!

ASM 3600 takes all input from the command line and two files: an ASCII error file and the output file. A UNIX script file can be written to run ASM 3600 in the background. It can be launched without leaving the MDS or EGS environment. Because the program supports X windows it is easy to install on the entire 9000 family of computers. Translation in both directions can be a menu item on the CAD tablet. The designer need not know about program interface or commands.


EGS Entity

GDSII Entity


Line: (zero width and width not part of a "boundary") Path with corresponding width GDSII supports a maximum of 200 vertices per path definition. An error will be generated if the line has more than 200 vertices.
Arc: (zero width and width) not part of a boundary Path with corresponding width GDSII has no arc entity. Arcs are broken into vectors using the resolution parameter in EGS
Lines and Arcs that form a closed "boundary" Boundary ASM 3600 attempts to form a closed boundaries from EGS lines and arcs wherever possible. Arcs are first broken into vectors using the EGS resolution parameter, then linked. Note that GDSII has a 200 vertice per boundary limitation.
Circle: zero width and with a finite width Boundary; or a boundary with a cut line if the circle gad a finite width. Cut line makes the boundary a single closed entity. Resolution determined by EGS resolution parameter.
Dimension Ignored Not applicable to mask making
Hatching Ignored Not supported in GDSII
Instance Structure Reference (SREF) If implicit stepping is specified this will become AREF. Instances may be nested 10 deep.
Marker Ignored Not supported in GDSII
Oval Ignored ----
Polygon (zero width and with width) Boundary ASM 3600 generates a cut line if the EGS polygon has width. This results in a single closed figure that can be filled. Remember the limitation on vertices = 200.
Rectangle Boundary Special Case of Polygons
Text Text Size, Mirroring, and Rotation are supported. Slant and filling parameters are ignored
Resolution No equivalent ASM 3600 reads this parameter and uses it to fracture arcs and circles inot vector data needed by GDSII.
Units Units ASM 3600 reads this parameter to set both user units and resolution.


  1. Implicit stepping is supported for all entities and instances
  2. Layer names are lost; GDSII supports only layer numbers 0 through 63
  3. No color information is passed
  4. Any attributes associated with an entity are ignored
  5. All boundries generated in GDSII are filled.
  6. The GDSII file written is at Rev 3. Rev 3 files can be read by all GDSII systems supporting Rev 3 or later.
GDII Entity GDS Entity Comment
Path Line of the corresponding width Supports 1/2W extension attribute. Does not support semicurcular extension attribute
Boundary Polygon ----
SREF Instance ----
AREF Instance with Implicit Stepping ----
Text Text Font inforamtion is lost
Units Units ----
Layers Layers GDSII has layers 0 to 63
Box Rectangle ----
Plex Entity Data Plexes are structures with certain elements marked for insertion into the top layer

Configuration Files

LIB                   used to insert library name into GDSII header
TTC.DB                name of library
REF                   used to insert reference library names into GDSII header
REF:CP1MC4A.DB        name of reference library
DZ1:CAM37LSISP.DB     name of reference library
.FONTS                used to insert font libraries into header
BPD:FONT.TX           name of FONT0
BPD:PGFONTB.TX        name of FONT1 up to 4 fonts can be named
TEXT                  used by GDS2EGS to scal fonts relatively
1.0                   scale factor for FONT0
0.7                   scale factor for FONT1
0.6                   scale factor for FONT2
1.0                   scale factor for FONT3

Platforms Supported





Artwork Conversion Software, Inc. [Company Profile]
417 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Tel (831) 426-6163 Fax (831) 426-2824

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