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Bartels AutoEngineer® - User Manual

2.1 General

Bartels AutoEngineer® Documentation

The schematic capture system of the Bartels AutoEngineer essentially consists of an interactive Schematic Editor with integrated SCM symbol editor and integrated Backannotation and the Packager program module for converting logical into physical netlists ("Forward Annotation"). The following sections of this manual describe in detail how to use the Schematic Editor for creating and editing SCM symbols and schematic circuitry.


2.1.1 Components and Features

Schematic Editor

When working with a Schematic Editor, the user expects the net list to agree exactly with the circuit drawing. The Schematic Editor of the Bartels AutoEngineer is not just a simple drawing program but is also capable of instantly controlling and correlating the net list data with the circuit diagram. Every single net list change results in an incremental update of the net list data. Reliability on correct net list data recognition is achieved with an internally managed list of changes which is also used for controlling the Undo/Redo facilities. BAE utilizes contact areas for indicating unconnected pins. Contact areas will automatically disappear with correct connections to the corresponding pins. This feature provides most useful graphical utility for controlling net list data whilst editing circuit diagrams. The system is also able to recognize T-shaped connections, and a junction point marker is automatically placed for the indication of T-connections.

With Bartels AutoEngineer, SCM symbols can be freely defined without restrictions referring to symbol size, symbol drawing information, number of pins on a part symbol, etc. The user can utilize but is not necessarily restricted to some standard. A series of extensive SCM symbol libraries is delivered with the Bartels AutoEngineer. The symbol placement functions provide features such as rotating the symbol at any angle, symbol mirroring, specifying arbitrary placement coordinates, etc.

Signal names can be freely defined. Inverted signal names are displayed with a line on top of the corresponding text. User-definable label symbols are automatically loaded when referencing the corresponding signal names, e.g., a ground label symbol can be defined for indicating ground connections.

Bartels AutoEngineer provides full capability of checking connectivity with busses, bus tapping, sub-bus definitions, bus naming, etc. Both numerical and arbitrary alphanumerical names can be used for bus signals. Incremental net list data update is included with all bus definition features. The SCM library even supports bus synthesis on part level, thus providing highest flexibility at the creation of symbols of any complexity.

The BAE system supports hierarchical circuit design. It is possible to define SCM block circuit diagrams which then can be referenced from other SCM plans using special block symbols. For correct net list data management a distinction between global and local signals is possible.

The Undo/Redo facilities allow to use the Schematic Editor without fear of causing damage. Up to twenty commands can be reversed or undone by applying the Undo function and then reprocessed with the Redo function. Undo/Redo ensures data security and provides a powerful feature for estimating design alternatives.

With the Bartels User Language integrated to the Schematic Editor the user is able to implement enhanced CAE functions and macros, user-specific post processors, report and test functions, etc. User Language programs can be called by applying the Run User Script function from the File menu or by pressing a key on the keyboard (hot key).

The Schematic Editor provides a series of enhanced features such as group functions, arbitrary attribute definitions and part and/or net attribute value settings, automatic part naming with definable part name patterns, virtual symbols for company logos or circuit legends, net highlight, automatic reconnection at symbol movement, etc. Net list modifications introduced to the layout such as pin/gate swaps or part name changes are reflected back to the SCM automatically by applying Backannotation.


2.1.2 Starting the Schematic Editor

It is recommended to start the Bartels AutoEngineer from the directory where the design files should be generated since this considerably simplifies job file access. If you intend to process the examples provided with this manual it is recommended to move to the BAE examples directory installed with the BAE software. The Schematic Editor can be called from the Bartels AutoEngineer main shell. Start the BAE shell by typing the following command to the operating system prompt:

> bae Return/Enter Key (CR)

The AutoEngineer comes up with the Bartels logo and the following menu (the Setup function is only available under Windows/Motif; the IC-Design and Next Task menu items are available only with special software configurations such as BAE HighEnd or BAE IC Design):

[ IC-Design ]
[ Setup ]
[ Next Task ]
Exit BAE

Move the menu cursor to the Schematic menu item and confirm this choice by pressing the left mouse button:

SchematicLeft Mouse Button (LMB)

Now the Schematic Editor program module is loaded and the SCM menu will be activated. If this fails to happen then check your BAE software installation (see the Bartels AutoEngineer® Installation Guide for details on how to perform a correct installation).


2.1.3 Schematic Editor Main Menu

The Schematic Editor standard/sidemenu user interface provides a menu area on the right side, consisting of the main menu on top and the currently active menu below that main menu. After entering the Schematic Editor, the Files menu is active and the menu cursor points to the Load Element function.

The Windows and Motif versions of the Schematic Editor can optionally be operated with a pull-down menu user interface providing a horizontally arranged main menu bar on top. The WINMENUMODE command of the bsetup utility program is used to switch between SIDEMENU and PULLDOWN Windows/Motif menu configurations (see chapter 7.2 for more details).

The following main menu is always available whilst processing SCM elements with the Schematic Editor:

Undo, Redo
Plot Output

Undo, Redo

The functions provided with the Undo, Redo menu allow you to use the Schematic Editor without fear of causing damage. Up to twenty commands can be reversed or undone using Undo and then reprocessed with the Redo. This is true even for complex processing such as group functions or User Language program execution. Undo, Redo ensures data security and provides a powerful feature for estimating design alternatives.


The View or Display menu can either be activated by selecting the corresponding main menu item or by pressing the middle mouse button. Activation through the middle mouse button is even possible whilst performing a graphical manipulation such as placing or moving an object. The View or Display menu provides useful functions for changing display options such as zoom window, zoom scale, input and/or display grids, grid and/or angle lock, color settings, etc. The View or Display menu also contains advanced display functions such as Find Part and Highlight Net.


The Files menu provides functions for creating, loading, saving, copying, replacing and deleting DDB elements. The Files menu also allows to load and/or store color tables or to call important database management functions such as listing DDB file contents and performing library update.


On SCM sheet level, the functions from the Symbols menu are used for placing, moving and deleting symbols, labels, and module ports, for assigning attribute values and for displaying symbol logic definitions from the Logical Library. On symbol and label level, the functions from the Symbols menu are used for placing, moving and deleting pins (i.e., marker symbols), and for defining name patterns for the automatic part naming facility.


The Connections menu is used on SCM sheet level to create the logical net list by generating and/or manipulating connections and busses.


The Graphic menu is used on any SCM hierarchy level for creating, moving, copying and deleting graphic items such as lines and areas.


The Text menu is used on any SCM hierarchy level for defining, changing, moving and deleting text.


The Groups menu provides functions for selecting elements to group, for moving, copying, deleting, saving and loading groups, and for replacing symbols in a group.


The Parameter menu provides functions for selecting the SCM library, setting the origin of the currently loaded element, defining the element boundaries, selecting the pin symbol and the T-connection marker, defining the SCM sheet hierarchy for hierarchical circuit designs, and activating the automatic design data backup feature.

Plot Output

The Plot Output menu provides the functions for generating plot output in HP-GL (Hewlett Packard Graphics Language), HP Laser (PCL, Printer Command Language) or Postscript format.


The Utilities menu provides functions for exiting BAE, returning to the BAE main shell, producing a report for the currently loaded element and starting User Language programs.


2.1.4 Customized Schematic Editor User Interface

Menu Assignments and Key Bindings

The BAE software comes with User Language programs for activating a modified Schematic Editor user interface with many additional functions (startups, toolbars, menu assignments, key bindings, etc.). The bae_st User Language program is automatically started when entering the Schematic Editor. bae_st calls the uifsetup User Language program which activates predefined Schematic Editor menu assignments and key bindings. Menu assignments and key bindings can be changed by modifiying and re-compiling the uifsetup source code. The hlpkeys User Language program is used to list the current key bindings. With the predefined menu assignments of uifsetup activated, hlpkeys can be called from the Key Bindings function of the Help menu. Menu assignments and key bindings can be listed with the uifdump User Language program. The uifreset User Language program can be used to reset all currently defined menu assignments and key bindings. uifsetup, uifdump and uifreset can also be called from the menu of the keyprog User Language program which provides additional facilities for online key programming and User Language program help info management.

Context-sensitive Function Menus

Pressing the left mouse button in the graphic workarea activates a context-sensitive menu with specific functions for the object at the current mouse position if no other menu function is currently active. The Load Element and/or Create/New Element file management functions are provided if no element is currently loaded. This feature is implemented through an automated call to the scm_ms User Language program.

Cascading Windows/Motif Pulldown Menus

The Windows and Motif pulldown menu user interfaces of the Schematic Editor provide facilities for cascading submenu definitions. I.e., submenus can be attached to other menu items. The uifsetup User Language program configures cascading submenus for the pulldown menu interfaces of the Windows/Motif Schematic Editor modules. This allows for easy submenu function location (and activation) without having to activate (and probably cancel) submenus. The function repeat facility provided through the right mouse button supports cascading menus to simplify repeated submenu function calls.

Windows/Motif Parameter Setup Dialogs

The following Windows/Motif parameter setup dialogs are implemented for the Schematic Editor:

  • Settings - Settings: General Schematic Editor Parameters
  • View - Settings: Display Parameters
  • Plot Output - Settings: SCM Plot Parameters

The uifsetup User Language program replaces the parameter setup functions of the Windows and Motif pulldown menus with the above menu functions for activating the corresponding parameter setup dialogs.

Windows/Motif Pulldown Menu Konfiguration

When using pulldown menus under Windows and Motif, the uifsetup User Language program configures the following modified Schematic Editor main menu with a series of additional functions and features:

Plot Output

2.1.5 In-built Schematic Editor System Features

Automatic Parameter Backup

The Schematic Editor provides an in-built feature for automatically saving important design and operational parameters with the currently processed SCM sheet and/or SCM library hierarchy level. The following parameters are stored to the current design file when activating the Save Element function:

  • Autosave Time Interval
  • Name of the currently loaded SCM Color Table
  • Input Grid
  • Display Grid
  • Grid/Angle Lock
  • Coordinate Display Mode
  • Symbol/Label Placement Default Rotation Angle
  • Symbol/Label Placement Default Mirror Mode
  • Symbol/Label Placement Signal Routing On/Off Mode
  • Default Bus Tap Swap Flag
  • Default Text Size
  • Symbol Library File Name
  • Logical Library File Name
  • Plot File Name

Parameter sets are stored with special names according to the currently processed SCM database hierarchy level. Parameter set name [plan] is used for SCM sheet elements, [symbol] is used for SCM symbol elements, [label] is used for SCM label elements and [marker] is used for SCM marker elements. When loading an element, the corresponding parameter set is automatically loaded and/or activated as well, thus providing a convenient way of activating a default parameter set suitable for processing the selected design and/or library element type.

User Language

The Bartels User Language Interpreter is integrated to the Schematic Editor, i.e., User Language programs can be called from the Schematic Editor, and it is possible to implement any user-specific SCM function required such as status display, parameter setup, reports and test functions (fanout control, electronic rule check), special plot and/or documentation output functions, automatic or semi-automatic symbol edit routines, symbol library management utilities, customer-specific batch procedures, etc.

The Schematic Editor provides both explicit and implicit User Language program call facilities. User Language programs can be started with explicit program name specification using the Run User Script function from the File menu (empty string or question-mark (?) input to the program name query activates a User Language program selection menu).

User Language programs can also be called by simply pressing special keys of the keyboard. This method of implicit User Language program call is supported at any time unless another interactive keyboard input request is currently pending. The name of the User Language program to be called is automatically derived from the pressed key, i.e. pressing a standard and/or function key triggers the activation of a User Language program with a corresponding name such as scm_1 for digit key 1, scm_r for standard key r, scm_# for standard key #, scm_f1 for function key F1, scm_f2 for function key F2, etc.

The Schematic Editor User Language Interpreter environment also features event-driven User Language program calls, where User Language programs with predefined names are automatically started at certain events and/or operations such as scm_st at Schematic Editor module startup, scm_load after loading a design element, scm_save before saving a design element, scm_tool when selecting a toolbar item and scm_zoom when changing the zoom factor. The module startup User Language program call method is most useful for automatic system parameter setup as well as for key programming and menu assignments. The element save and load program call methods can be used to save and restore element-specific parameters such as the zoom area, color setup, etc. The toolbar selection event must be used to start User Language programs which are linked to toolbar elements. The zoom event can be used to apply an update request to a design view management feature.

Bartels User Language also provides system functions for performing key programming, changing menu assignments and defining toolbars. These powerful features can be applied for user interface modifications. Please note that a large number of additional functions included with the Schematic Editor menu are implemented through the User Language programs delivered with the BAE software.

See the Bartels User Language Programmer's Guide for a detailed description of the Bartels User Language (chapter 4.2 lists all User Language programs provided with the BAE software).

Neural Rule System

A series of advanced Bartels AutoEngineer features are implemented through the integrated Neural Rule System. See chapter 6.3.1 for the rule system applications provided with the Schematic Editor.

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General • © 1985-2024 Oliver Bartels F+E • Updated: 04 April 2011, 11:02 [UTC]

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