KLayout XSection tool - Deep insights or nonsense in colors?

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  • Speaker(s): Matthias Köfferlein
  • email: matthias@klayout.de



XSection is a KLayout package and FOSS tool generating vertical cross sections through a layout. Simply draw a ruler to mark the position you want to generate a cross section from, and execute a cross section script. The script you have to provide to model your process. It executes a series of virtual process steps such as depositing a layer, etching or converting material to a different kind. The script language supports a simplistic set of process features in a fairly intuitive fashion. The implementation is based on very simple polygon manipulation functions. This severely limits potential applications. Yet, with enough effort, you can put together process scripts that generate photo realistic cross sections. Which - used without care - may be grossly misleading.

Despite it's low visibility and obvious flaws, the project receives considerable attention by parts of the user community. Obviously, it is a great tool for teaching, layout comprehension and understanding device functionality and parasitic effects. But it may also be a waste of time. This is why I both love and hate it.

In this talk I will discuss the concepts, opportunities, flaws, alternatives and the future of this script. You're welcome to contribute your own experiences if you have some.


General information

Code references