GDSFILT Revision History

v2.84a Linux 05/21/2016

Library Issue

With this version both gdsfilt and xgdsfilt are now wrapper scripts so that LD_LIBRARY_PATH points to the required libraries which are also included with the release. The original gdsfilt and xgdsfilt binaries are now renamed to gdsfilt.exe and xgdsfilt.exe during installation.

Linux Compatibility

This version was tested successfully on the following:

v2.84 Linux 04/20/2016

Scan Issue

Fixed an issue where gscan reported wrong extents for top cell.


This package contains an updated installer, shell, gscan and gdsfilt engine. This package will *not* run nodelocked on a non eth0 interface. Running CheckFlexVer yields

centos771:tester: $ /SUN2/LINUX/cad_util/CheckFlexVer

The following files are not FLEX enabled
and are probably not licensed program modules...


The following files ARE FLEX enabled

gdsfilt                v11.3.0.0
gdsplt                v11.3.0.0
liseater                v11.13.1.2
xgdsfilt                v11.13.1.2
xgdsvu                v11.3.0.0
xPreview                v11.3.0.0

v2.59a 03/15/2016

Scan Issue

Fixed an issue where gscan reported wrong extents for top cell.

v2.58 03/10/2010

updated -remove to use regular expression

Added a new feature which allows the user to remove specific cell names in the output file when using the -remove command line option. The -remove option now supports regular expressions instead of DOS wildcard characters. This feature was added specifically to remove a large number of cells containing dummy metal fill in order to reduce the file size.

A example of removing dummy metal cells using the -remove function is shown here.

v2.57 01/24/10

New feature to allow top cell name in -explode

Added a new feature which allows the user to define the top cell name in the output file when using the -explode command line option.

The new command line usage is as follows:

-explode create TOP as the output top structure as before
-explode:new_top_structure_name creates new_top_structure_name as the output top structure

v2.56 08/24/09

Rename cell function cause corrupt output file

The cell rename function created corrupt GDSII file when it encountered text strings with over 256 characters. This has been fixed.

v2.49 04/23/07

Large File Support

corrected some problems handling large files.


corrected a flow problem (Unix/Linux) that occured when exploding files.

v2.30 05/25/05

Exploding arrays

GDSFILT had a rounding error of 1nm when exploding arrays. This version fixes the problem.

v2.23 09/02/04

Long PATH problem

This version is fixes a crash problem when the PATH (environmental variable) was longer than 1024 characters.

New -remove option to remove structures

This version has a new -remove command line option which allows the user to remove specific cell names from the file.

v2.21a 09/07/04

Revision to GDSExplode to support data type

This version is equivalent to previous releases of GDSFILT with the exception that the GDSXPLODE module now preserves DATATYPES during explosion. Previously all DATATYPES were mapped to "0" in the output.

v2.20 08/02/04

Major revisions to the GDSFILT code.

Major revisions to GDSFILT were made in response to customer feedback. In particular, users are processing very large GDSII files through gdsfilt requiring in some cases 64 bit hardware. Speed has become a very significant issue. Also, many users are building their final GDSII tape out file using the blend mode -- this mode ran very slow as it had never been tested with very large files.

revised GSCAN Module

The GSCAN (GDSII scanning module) has been speeded up and a memory allocation problem seen in earlier versions has been corrected. (Reported by Applied Materials)

Blend Mode Speeded Up

In response to customer requests the blend mode has been greatly optimized and speeded up. For example, blending of a 4GB (approx. 1500 structures) and a 2GB (approx. 1000 structures) file on a 1.7GHz CPU now takes just 10 minutes where previously this required several hours. (reported by ATI and by 3DLabs)

Shared Library Problem Resolved

The shared libraries issue has been resolved. (reported by Intel)

v2.05 04/02/04

Gscan is now Parallel Safe

This version includes the latest gscan which is parallel safe - you can run it on different files and at the same time on the same workstation.

Blend option was dropping data

This has ben fixed.

Flexlm licensing issues under Linux

gdsfilt would crash when running on Linux with Flexlm. This has been fixed. Current version was tested successfully on Red Hat 7.2, 9.0, and Enterprise WS 3.

v1.99 11/06/03


This version is now now synched on all platforms with Flexlm. Several Motif issues were fixed in the shell. Added HPUX 64 bit support.

v1.79 Linux7.2 and Solaris 09-26-2002

FLEXlm Licensing

This version supports the Globetrotter FLEXlm license manager. Requires that you run lmgrd 8.1 or newer.

v1.71 07-3-2002

New Install

The new version includes the new installation which makes life much easier for the user.

Files over 2GB

Even though the program is still 32 bit, it is able to process files that are up to 4-5GB.

v1.63 01-28-2002

This version has a floating point diagnostic tool. We've added a -fpchk:N
command line argument. See what 

gdsfilt -h

returns. The new option emits information regarding FP data encountered
in HEADER, SREF, AREF and TEXT entities. These entities contain FP data
per the following table:

    GDSII ENTITY      FP VALUE(S)               OPTIONAL      DEFAULT
    HEADER            user unit
                      database unit
    SREF, AREF        insertion MAGnitude       YES            1.0
                      ANGLE                     YES            0.0
    TEXT              MAGnitude                 YES            1.0
                      ANGLE                     YES            0.0
The :N in -fpchk is optional. If specified gdsfilt checks for FP data
associated only with the desired entities by ORing the following values

   1   HEADER information
   2   SREF, AREF data
   4   TEXT data
   Option Value    Info Output
   -fpchk:1        HEADER 
   -fpchk:2        REF
   -fpchk:3        HEADER and REF 
   -fpchk:4        TEXT
   -fpchk:5        HEADER and TEXT 
   -fpchk:6        REF and TEXT 
   -fpchk:7        HEADER and REF and TEXT

NOTE: -fpchk and -fpchk:7 are equivalent

-fpchk option will tabulate all unique FP values, and output counts and
the exact binary image for each, as well as flag an un-normalized numbers.
The information collected regarding FP numbers is NOT reset when a new
file is input, i.e. as the result of a -merge or -add. 

A sample output follows:

FP values for HEADER and REF and TEXT data:

   Count Value

       1 0.01
       1 2.54e-07
       4 0.99999995886464
       1 1.5950381620042e-85
       1 0.99999995886464
       1 1.5950381632027e-85

MAG values

   Value Image

    0.01 00111111.00101000.11110101.11000010.10001111.01011100.00101000.11110110
2.54e-07 00111011.01000100.00101110.10111111.01000001.01011010.00100011.10100011
       1 01000000.11111111.11111111.11111111.01001111.01010011.00110000.00110001
1.54e-85 00000000.00000000.00000000.00000000.01001111.01010011.00110000.00110001
                  |___ un-normalized floating point number

       1 01000000.11111111.11111111.11111111.01001111.01010011.00110000.00110010
1.54e-85 00000000.00000000.00000000.00000000.01001111.01010011.00110000.00110010
                  |___ un-normalized floating point number

Finally, the -fpchk command line option can be used in conjunction with
ANY gdsfilt operation, but for purposes of gleaning FP information you
might want to run gdsfilt in the most simplistic way and specify that
the output file be "/dev/null", i.e.

gdsfilt TEST.gds /dev/null = -fpchk:7

You will want to refer to TEST.log.

v1.61 08-08-2001

Cell names longer than 32 characters
This version supports cell names longer than 32 characters.

v1.50 04-12-2001

Specify Structure and Insertion Point To Insert
New feature is added for Combine Mode where for each file to combine, users can specify the structure in the file to insert to the output and the insertion point to insert to.

Drop Boundary Segments Shorter Than
New feature to drop boundary segments shorter than a user specified value.

Output Text Only
New feature to explode all text only into the output file.

Polygon Filtering No Text
In previous versions, all text are dropped if polygon filtering is turned on. The feature to keep text under polygon filtering is added in this version.

New HostID Locking
This version applies the new HostID locking scheme without the need for special system network setup.

v1.41 05-08-2000

Polygon Filtering
This function is only activated when it is licensed to key number 5336.

Translation Progress
Better progress reporting. The polygon filtering process has 3 passes:
1. Scan through all the layers. (You will see a percentage progress.)
2. Extents and polygons computation. (You will just see a moving progress bar, no percentage. Under Windows 98, using hostid locking, you will not see any progress at all.)
3. Generating GDS Output. (You will see a percentage progress.)

v1.37 01-31-2000

Text Filtering
If TEXT Mag was not explicitly set, i.e. (takes on default of MAG = 1.0), then the corresponding TEXT entity was not filtered by size.

v1.36 10-21-1999

Explode is disabled if Add/Merge/Blend is turned on.

Default Output File Name
Default GDS output file name is "inputfile_out.gds" in the working directory.

Maximum Number of Structures
New limit is raised from 8192 to 32768. Older versions would just crash when the input file has more than 8192 structures.

Combine Function
Added combine function for merge and add for users to specify a new top structure in the output which refers to the top structures of the files to add or merge.

Trimming Speed Up
Trimming is speeded up up to 10x +.

v1.32 UNIX 09-21-1999

Explode Function
This version added an explode function to flatten the GDS file.

Specifying a New Top Structure
Added -combine option to the engine, gdsfilt, which allows users to combine (merge and add) structures with a new top structure referring to the top structures in the input files. Refer to gdsfilt -h for more information.

Updated the licensing to support the new 7x7 ACS.KEY file codes.

Ver 1.25 UNIX 05-21-1998

New License Manager/Y2K
Incorporated the new LSERV4 license manager; program is now Y2K compatible.

Major GUI Revision
Major facelift with all other motif standard dialogs added to xgdsfilt.

XGDSVU Viewer Linkage
This version now ships with Artwork's GDSII viewer, Xgdsvu. Xgdsvu and Xgdsfilt are keyed separately during the installation, so xgdsvu requires it's own license.

Added Layer and Datatype Mapping
Layer numbers and datatype numbers can be mapped to different values in the output file using the interface provided. Requested by multiple customers who wanted to do filtering by datatype.

Merge/Add/Blend Two GDSII Files
Xgdsfilt provides a new feature to merge/add/blend 2 or more GDS files together. A user interface is available for selecting the way the two files are combined.

Text Translation
Added text control to omit text greater than a certain size.

v1.20 10/25/1997

Windows 95/NT Release

Released a version of GDSFILT designed for Windows 95/NT. This is a full Windows GUI implementation of GDSFILT. A new updated web page at has been put in place to better support GDSFILT.

v1.10 10/17/1995

Bug Fix: Similar Structure Names

corrected a bug that occurred when the GDSII file contained more than one top level structure names where the first 8 or more characters were identical.

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