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Marking up GDSII Data

There are times when a designer would like to view a GDSII file and to mark it up with annotations - text, lines, boxes, and highlights. The Markup plug-in does this. More important, the Markup plug-in stores the markup along with the display state as a file that can be reloaded and replayed later. This allows one deisgner to create a series of annotations from different views/windows, save the results and then send it to another designer who can then "play" back the annotations over the same view as the originator.

In order to duplicate the same view for each markup one needs to save the "state" of the viewer.



Data Required to Save Display State

  • GDSII file name
  • Structure
  • Layout Window Coordinates (vector)
  • Display Coordinates (pixels)
  • Background Color
  • Layers turned on
  • Each layer's fill/outline color/pattern
  • Outline/Fill Display Mode
  • Array Mode
  • Display Filter Settings
  • Marker On/Off/Shape/Size
  • Hierarchy Filter
  • Text on/off/sizing
  • Transformations

Types of Annotations

  • Line (endpoints, linewidth,color)
  • Line with Arrow (endpoints, linewidth, color, arrow side)
  • hollow rectangle (corners, linewidth,color)
  • hollow circle (center, radius, linewidth,color)
  • text (insertion point, height, ,color, justification, rotation, font, string)
  • rect highlight (corners, color, transparency)
  • rect highlight2 (corners, color, knocks out background color)

Examples of Markup

The screen below shows the different markup entities.


The line entity can have any number of coordinate pairs.

There are two kinds of highlight rectangles:

  1. Transparent. In this case the rectangle color is multiplied by a transparency factor (0-100) and the results affects everything covered by the rectangle.
  2. Background. In this case the rectangle color is only applied over pixels that match the background color.


There might be multiple types of output created by this tool. We should assume that the viewer state and markup elements can be saved as an XML file and recalled by the program later. This would allow someone who has Qckvu3 with this plug-in to "play back" the annotations.

However the target of the annotations might not have access to our viewer - so we should be able to take the list of annotations and export them in the following formats:

PDF - this is probably the most universal format

Excel - a lot of companies use Excel as a "hammer" for all problems

HTML - Andrew already has experience doing this.

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