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# Alliance VLSI CAD System
# Copyright (C) 1990, 2002 ASIM/LIP6/UPMC
#
# Home page          : http://asim.lip6.fr/alliance/
# E-mail             : mailto:alliance-users@asim.lip6.fr
# ftp site           : ftp://asim.lip6.fr/pub/alliance/
#
# NOTE: You can find the latest revision of this document at:
# http://asim.lip6.fr/pub/alliance/latest-checkout/alliance/src
#
# $Id: FAQ,v 1.5 2002/10/24 09:55:22 czo Exp $

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
This file contains the basic pointers to
the different documents or manuals found in this release.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Question  1: What is ALLIANCE ?
Question  2: What is ALLIANCE general copyright policy ?
Question  3: How to install ALLIANCE ?
Question  4: How to get started ?
Question  5: What are the differences with the previous releases ?
Question  6: What is the supported VHDL subset ?
Question  7: What is the available online documentation ?
Question  8: How can I get more complete documentation ?
Question  9: Where are defined the symbolic layout rules ?
Question  10: How is performed the mapping to a target process ?
Question 11: What are the supported file formats ?/
Question 12: Where are TAS and YAGLE ?
Question 13: How can I get in touch with the ALLIANCE team ?
Question 14: How can I get Alliance ?

Question 1: What is ALLIANCE ?
------------------------------

Alliance is a complete set of free CAD tools and portable libraries for VLSI
design. It includes a VHDL compiler and simulator, logic synthesis tools, and
automatic place and route tools. A complete set of portable CMOS libraries is
provided. Alliance is the result of a twelve year effort spent at ASIM
department of LIP6 laboratory of the Pierre et Marie Curie University
(Paris-VI, France). Alliance has been used for research projects such as the
875 000 transistors StaCS superscalar microprocessor and 400 000 transistors
IEEE Gigabit HSL Router.


Question 2: What is ALLIANCE general copyright policy ?
-------------------------------------------------------

Alliance VLSI CAD System is free software. Binaries, source code and cells
libraries are freely available under the GNU General Public License (GPL). You
are welcome to use the software package even for commercial designs without any
fee. You are kindly requested to mention : "Designed with Alliance � LIP6,
Universit� Pierre et Marie Curie"

See LICENCE

Question 3: How to install ALLIANCE ?
-------------------------------------

You can compile the sources or use precompiled binary package.

See README

Question 4: How to get started ?
--------------------------------

You can download a beta version of the Alliance 5.0 tutorials from cvs.
ftp://asim.lip6.fr/pub/alliance/latest-checkout/alliance/src/documentation/tutorials.tgz

Question 5: What are the differences with the previous releases ?
----------------------------------------------------------------

The new features of this release are described in the CHANGES file:

See CHANGES

Question 6: What is the supported VHDL subset ?
-----------------------------------------------

You can find a general presentation of the VHDL subset by issuing the
following commands:

> man vhdl

This gives you an hint about the supported VHDL subset.
There is actually three separate architectures types: "Structural",
"Data-flow", and "Finite-State-Machine"

> man vst

This gives you the VHDL subset supported for structural descriptions.

> man vbe

This gives you the data-flow behavioral subset supported by the simulator
ASIMUT, the logic synthesis tools BOOM and BOOG and the formal proffer PROOF.

> man fsm

This gives you the VHDL subset used for Finite-State-Machine description
and supported by the FSM synthesis tool SYF.

Question 7: What is the available online documentation ?
--------------------------------------------------------

Each tools has its own manual.
All the tools rely on the use of environment variables: all the relevant
variables are listed in the `ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES' section of the manual
page.

Question  8: How can I get more complete documentation ?
--------------------------------------------------------
All the available documentation can be found in the documentation
directory of the sources.
See
ftp://asim.lip6.fr/pub/alliance/latest-checkout/alliance/src/documentation/


Question 9:  Where are defined the symbolic layout rules ?
----------------------------------------------------------

The symbolic layout rules are specified in the Design Rule Checker
documentation:

> man druc

Question 10:  How is performed the mapping to a target process ?
---------------------------------------------------------------

The actual conversion is performed by the s2r tool:

> man s2r


Question 11: What are the supported file formats ?
--------------------------------------------------

ALLIANCE tools are interfaced to generic data-structures that
support various standard file formats, thanks to a set of
specialized parsers/drivers.
UNIX environment variables are used to select one particular file format.
For a given entity, the file format is defined by the file extension.

1/ symbolic layout view

ALLIANCE          .ap       INPUT   OUTPUT
COMPASS           .cp       INPUT   OUTPUT

2/ physical layout view

CIF               .cif              OUTPUT
GDSII             .gds              OUTPUT

3/ netlist view

ALLIANCE          .al       INPUT   OUTPUT
SPICE             .spi      INPUT   OUTPUT
EDIF 2.0          .edi      INPUT   OUTPUT
VHDL              .vst      INPUT   OUTPUT
COMPASS           .hns      INPUT   OUTPUT
HILO              .cct              OUTPUT
VERILOG           .vlg              OUTPUT

4/ behavioral view

VHDL (data-flow)  .vbe      INPUT   OUTPUT
VHDL (FSM)        .fsm      INPUT


Question 12: Where are TAS and YAGLE ?
--------------------------------------

HITAS (Hierarchical timing analysis) and YAGLE (Functional abstraction)
are now comercially distributed by Avertec (http://www.avertec.com/).
More information can be obtained at their web site. Binaries of these
tools can also be downloaded for non-commercial university research.


Question 13: How can I get in touch with the ALLIANCE team ?
------------------------------------------------------------

Web:
----
at http://www-asim.lip6.fr/alliance/

E-mail:
-------
mailto:alliance-users@asim.lip6.fr

Postal Mail:
-----------
Alliance Support
ASIM / LIP6
Universit� Pierre et Marie Curie 
4, Place Jussieu 75252 Paris Cedex 05, 
France

Fax:
----
+33 1 44 27 72 80


Question 14: How can I get Alliance ?
-------------------------------------

You can get Alliance via anonymous FTP from 

ftp://ftp-asim.lip6.fr/pub/alliance/ 

or by HTTP

http://www-asim.lip6.fr/pub/alliance/ 

If you can not access to Internet you can also send us a blank CD-ROM. 
We will copy it for you.

Alliance Support
ASIM / LIP6
Universit� Pierre et Marie Curie 
4, Place Jussieu 75252 Paris Cedex 05, 
France

# EOF