OpenAccess is a community effort to provide interoperability, including unified data exchange among integrated circuit design tools through an open standard data API and reference database supporting that API for IC design. It is coordinated by the OpenAccess Coalition of EDA industry leaders. OpenAccess can store layout data, schematics, symbols, netlists and any other application specific data. These information are stored into many files in a directory tree. Each directory tree is call a library. OpenAccess can access many library concurrently. A design can be splitten into multiply libraries. A list of all ever used libraries is store in a 'lib.defs' file. This file is ether located in the application folder or in the home folder of the user.
OpenAccess is included in all LayoutEditor packages for Windows and Linux and not available for Apple MAC OS X. It is installed with its newest version by default and can be used straight away. If you need a special version of OpenAccess, please adjust the oa subfolder of your LayoutEditor installation to the required version and make sure that the oaGetVersion call returns the correct required OpenAccess version. The correct plug-in for that OpenAccess version will be loaded. With SetupDialog/fileformat/OpenAccess it can be checked after the start of the LayoutEditor.
You can directly open an OpenAccess view via file/open within the LayoutEditor. To do so point to the .oa file containing the cell view you want to load. A registration of the library into the 'lib.defs' file and loading of all required cells is done automaticly. Alternatively you can access a OpenAccess library via OpenAccess Tools located in the SetupDialog and in the Utilities menu. The file/open will only load the design data. A netlist will not be loaded. To load it, please use Load OpenAccess Netlist. The file/save feature will save a design to the OpenAccess library. Only the current displayed cell will be saved. If a netlist for that cell is present it will be saved as well. Within the schematic window you can load/store any schematic to a OpenAccess library. As well existing symbols within a library can be used as components. To load it use the AddLibrary feature. It will always be loaded the complete library and not just a single cell. IPL&iPDK extension are supported including TCL callbacks. The callback folder with the TCL code needs to be set in the SetupDialog under Macro Callbacks.
OpenAccess can be extended via plugins. With a plugin you can add new scripting languages or add new parametric cell interfaces. The most popular plugin is probably Synopsys PyCell. To use any OpenAccess plug-in please use the OpenAccess version shipped with the plug-in and choose the LayoutEditor plug-in accordingly. A start script layout-pycell is shipped with the LayoutEditor in the bin folder.