How can we expend KICAD to chip design

Here the solution is simple. See when you want to create a PCB say with KiCAD, every part has a footprint Which KiCAD places on the PCB and then you connect them together.
Now if we can make footprints for each elements so it can be used for chip layout, then you can use these foot prints and connect them to layout your chip block.
For example a MOSFET transistor should have following layers (masks) on the footprint:
Diffusion layer mask ( to define Source and Drain)
Poly mask ( to define gate)
Contact mask ( to define contacts to Source and Drain)
metal layers masks
VIA mask
Such footprints can be made in say KiCAD.
I guess it is on KiCAD road map.
I am a chip designer and whiling to help you in this effort.

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Nice idea for 1960s style chip design. Or just trolling?


Chip design is very complicated, and a completely different niche. We have no interest in expanding kicad in that direction. Ignoring the fact we easily have a decade more work just on PCB cad features everyone wants :stuck_out_tongue:


Maybe the OP should look at this:

Static Free Software Home Page!

Development ceased in 2017, according to Static Free Software: History A few years back there was an article on Hackaday for (DIY) IC design. It is not an area I know much about though.

Probably because nearly all IC design uses VHDL etc, not schematics

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VHDL is nice for designing digital circuits, but does it do anything analog? A simple opamp for example? Analog design uses all kind of layout tricks to improve results, for example symmetrical constructs to compensate for temperature differentials and changes in material properties on the die.

Also, are you familiar with ZeptoBars ? That website has a lot of photographs of the dies of IC’s.

For Linux I would use Magic

There is a large community active in open source chip design (EDA tools and chip hardware).

For a digital design flow you may look at OpenROAD.

For an analog or mixed signal design flow, there is OpenFASOC, or more complete IIC-OSIC-TOOLS, which is a docker containing all the tools, like magic or klayout for layout, XSCHEM for schematic entry and simulator control, ngspice for simulation and many others.

A guide lists most of the open source tools available.

In June there is the FSiC2024 conference, which discusses the advances in open source design.

There is a very active community discussing all design issues at Slack.

So in my view there is no need to squeeze KiCad to enable IC design. KiCad for boards, IIC-OSIC for ICs and … multichip modules, where chips (chiplets) and (tiny) boards meet closely, that’s something not yet pursued heavily in open source.


As a designer yourself you should be aware of what kind of tool Kicad is and should already know what you ask is kinda funny :smiley: I am from the semiconductor industry myself and I think I can say with some authority that this specialised kind of design is most definitely not on the road map, at least I hope not I have a few features I would like to see before that :nerd_face: However who am I to say ? good luck in pursuit of your dream :ok_hand: