GDSII is a Graphics Database System. It is a database file format or a stream format which has become an industry standard when it comes to exchange of data pertaining to the artwork that defines the layout of any given integrated circuit (ASIC). It leverages the help of geometric shapes and text labels to create a hierarchical virtual version of the IC layout. It has been in the business for over 26 years now and remains the most popular format for layout purposes for ICs even in the face of a number of competitors in the form of OASIS and such.


GDSII database is used as the final output of an ASIC design cycle – e.g tapeout.


Developed by Calma in the 1980’s, the GDSII platform is so popular primarily because of the simplicity of its operations. Despite not having received any significant updates since its launch in the 80’s, GDSII is still as relevant today as it used to be back in the day because its architecture still supports all of the functions that are required today to build an IC.

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