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This post is in continuation of Extending Allegro Layout Capabilities with SKILL, where I described how SKILL code can make things faster and more efficient even without having to code from scratch. In this post, we’ll see sample implementations to get a better idea of how you can “SKILL it to win it” to paraphrase the popular game show of skill and speed.
First, an outline of the tasks that are required for setting up and running the SKILL code. Remember that you’ll need a Cadence ID to login to the Support site where the SKILL Code Library page lists many samples.
You can extract many types of reports using SKILL code. For example, a report of short cline segments within a pad, suppressed pins and vias in the layout, pins with the NO_DRC property, single pin nets, differential pair nets in a design, and so on.
Let’s see how to use SKILL code to find the number of pins in the design.
1. Open the SKILL Code Library.
2. Filter the list to see the options only for Database and Setup.
3. Look for SKILL to count the number of pins in a design.
4. Select the checkbox in the row.
5. Click Download Attachments.
A zip file gets downloaded.
6. Extract the contents of this file.
You can open this file in any text editor to read comments from the creating team if you are curious to know exactly what is happening under the hood. For the most part, you won’t need to make changes in this file.
7. Place the .il file in the same location as your design.
Other ways to load SKILL code are listed at How to load Custom Allegro® PCB SKILL Functionality.
8. Enter the SKILL mode.
9. Load the script.
10. Ensure True (t) is displayed to confirm that the script is loaded successfully.
11. Exit the SKILL mode. 12. Run the command.
The results show in the Command window.
A log file is also created with the results.
13. Choose File – Viewlog.
That’s how quick and easy finding information is. Now let’s take a look at another sample.
In this example, a new form opens where you can specify a new prefix and starting number for components. We’ll use the Rename_Ref_Des zip file from the SKILL Code Library.
A recap of the steps:
The following animated gif shows you the procedure.
When you click Begin Rename, all components whose names match the new prefix get highlighted.
With that, you’re all set to explore the SKILL Code Library and get more SKILLed at layout tasks. Remember to give your feedback and requests for any specific code at the Support site.