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Spreadsheets, we all use them, and many of us do so daily.
They are an efficient means of communicating information quickly. But, they are
far more powerful if you can format them with colors, fonts, cell outlines,
column widths and row heights, text justification, and other useful ancillary
Enter the 16.6 Cadence IC Packaging tools and their new
SKILL API to read and write formatted spreadsheets. These spreadsheets,
compliant with Microsoft's open spreadsheet XML format, can be written from SKILL with full formatting support or read with SKILL to annotate or update the
active drawing with data from an external source.
Read on to learn what is supported by these new API
functions and some ideas for how you can use these to take your documentation
output to the next level!
Write a spreadsheet providing design database information
Using the new axlSpreadsheet functions, you can write a full
spreadsheet, formatted and ready for immediate use in Microsoft Excel,
OpenOffice Calc, or other spreadsheet-editing tools. Just what can you do? Here
are a few ideas to get you started:
And, don't think that you are limited to generating brand new
spreadsheets. Do you have a template document where you just want to update specific
cells based on the current drawing? No problem! Open the template, update
the appropriate cells, and adjust formatting if desired, and write out the
updates to a new file.
Updating your design from data in a spreadsheet
Just as you can write a spreadsheet from information in the
package substrate layout, you may want to read changes from that spreadsheet
(or another spreadsheet entirely) to update the drawing. Here are a few ideas
for ways to leverage this powerful new capability in the other direction:
Do you want to read this data from a comma-delimited file
written by an internal tool your group maintains, but want the freedom to
access that CSV file using the spreadsheet API? Cadence has you covered! With the axlSpreadsheetReadDelimited function, you can
supply the file name and the column-delimited character to have the tool
automatically convert this into a spreadsheet. You won't get cell formatting or
multiple worksheets, since the CSV format doesn't support these advanced
capabilities, but you can still access cell data to update your design or
convert it to a formatted spreadsheet (and add formatting info at the same
time) that you write back to disk. Go ahead and get creative!
Do you want custom spreadsheets written based on your
designs but don't have the time or expertise to use these new API routines?
Consider contracting Cadence's experienced and highly efficient services team
to produce spreadsheet-generating tools for your specific needs.
Do you need access to read, write, or preserve a spreadsheet
object not supported by the interface (which is geared towards spreadsheets
specifically, not advanced structures such as graphs, embedded documents, or
Do you have an idea for a standard worksheet of information
that could be generated with a single function call for common use by all
designers using APD or SiP Layout for package design that, if provided by
Cadence, would promote industry-standard communication using a common
Whatever your needs, Cadence is here to help you maximize
your productivity by getting the most out of the tool today, tomorrow, and in the
future. Let your Cadence support representative know, so that information can
be passed on to the development team for consideration in a future release. And
move to the latest 16.6 ISR today and maximize the value you extract from
Cadence's industry-leading IC Package layout design tools!