In this blog, we take a look, not at a new command, but
instead at a classic command that many of you may not even realize is in the
tool today: the database diary.
The database diary tool (Tools -> Database Diary...) is
available in all APD and SiP Layout tools. With it, you are able to take notes
about key design decisions you have made, items that need to be done, or
problems you might be having. You can even use it to record the steps of your
design flow and settings that were used to get some specific routing results in
the event that you want to reproduce that routing in another, similar design.
Want to know more about the database diary and how to
incorporate it into your daily design activities? Read on!
The database diary can be run at any time in your design
flow, whether you are just starting your design and want to record the template
database and netlist source or are nearing the end of routing and wish to
document reasons for waiving certain DRC violations.
Running this command brings up the UI shown below, all
ready to record your notes. Don't worry about entering your user name or the
current date and time; they'll be filled in automatically for you. Instead,
simply type whatever you want recorded and press the "Add Entry" button to add
the new text to the diary in chronological order.
Should you have additional information you want to record,
you can continue to add more entries. Use the Close button to return to your
design tasks when you're finished taking notes.
What happens if you need to send your design to another
designer or company, but there is sensitive IP in the diary? Or, what if you
have left yourself some to-do notes and have completed those tasks? You'll want
to clean up pieces of—or even the entire contents of—the diary.
Never fear! When you open the diary, you have options to
delete the entire history or just selected lines. Use these to quickly and
easily remove the text that you no longer want in the diary and it will be
completely and permanently removed from the diary. Note, however, that once you
save the design after cleaning up your diary, you will not be able to access
those notes again. Take care!
Do you have a great idea for making the database diary tool
even more useful? Maybe you want to be able to set your user name to include
your company and phone number (if you're collaborating on the design with
another company) or include the diary contents when generating a PDF file for
documentation. It may be that you want the tool to automatically generate
entries for specific major events or to have categories for notes (so you can
filter and see just notes about DRCs, logic changes, or routing trade-offs).
Whatever the idea may be, be sure to tell your Cadence customer support
representative; your idea could be in the next version of the tool!