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How to Use the ADA Systems


In the past, users were creating their own files to run/source in order to set up their environments for the software on the adas. Now, basic configuration is done by centrally maintained files, with only optional configuration done by the student/professor.

The path to the configuration files is


If you’re curious to know the names of the vendors as they appear on the systems, then do something like this:

# ls -1 /sw/etc/*.sh

This indicates that there is Agilent, Altera, Cadence, Mentor [graphics], and Synopsys software. NOTE: The script is used by the others and can be ignored.

Suppose you’re interested in cadence software:

# ls -1 /sw/etc/cadence/

Some may recognize that not all of these are actually Cadence products. However, the additional software was installed to directly support work done with Cadence tools. At some point, these may be separated out into their own hierarchy, but for now, they are grouped here. Also, the links are there for some backwards compatibility.

In order to use, for example Cadence’s IC6 tools, you’d run:

# source /sw/etc/cadence/
# virtuoso

This should bring up the main IC6 program.

Creating Auto-start Files

Because of the previous setup, there are many files with names like “startcad” and “run_icfb” floating around, and each one is a little different. Our effort to centralize configuration is motivated by the idea that central changes shouldn’t require every user to change their own files.

As an example, suppose you need to use IC version 5 with the NCSU FreePDK. Then you might create a file with the following lines:

source /sw/etc/cadence/
source /sw/etc/cadence/
icfb &

Then you could just source this file to set up your environment and start the software.

Getting Help

Really, this is the same as getting help for anything else.  Visit our IT Support page for how to request help.

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