Detailed Information on Installing the Electric VLSI System from

Return to the Electric VLSI page at (for the quick install)

Removing user preferences to start Electric “Out of the box” is discussed at the bottom of the page.

Installation (for Windows, see bottom of page for detailed Linux/Unix installation)

  1. Ensure Java is installed on your computer by going to
  2. Create a directory C:\Electric
  3. Save electric-9.07.jar in this directory
  4. Ensure the file extension is *.jar since Windows may try to change the download to *.zip
  5. Double clicking on the jar file starts Electric

Examples are found in: and

Hundreds of examples are found on the CMOS books' webpages or in a single zip here.


Setting up an Icon (optional)

  1. Right click on the desktop and select New -> Shortcut
  2. In the Target field enter


C:\Electric\electric-9.07.jar -sdi


  1. After selecting a name for the Icon (e.g., Electric VLSI) and clicking on “Finish” a generic Icon should appear on the desktop
  2. Next, save Electric’s Icon (right click on the link and select Save As) in C:\Electric
  3. Right click on the desktop generic icon and select Properties.
Set the Start-In directory as C:\Electric (this is where the log file is stored)
“Change Icon” to the Icon downloaded in step 9
  1. Doubling clicking on the desktop Icon starts Electric.

Examples are found in: and

Hundreds of examples are found on the CMOS books' webpages or in a single zip here.


Installing IRSIM (optional)

  1. Download electricSFS-9.07.jar, the Static Free Software (link) extras file into C:\Electric
  2. In step 7 above now enter (assuming that Java was installed in C:\WINDOWS\system32\, C:\PROGRA~1\Java, or C:\PROGRA~2\Java\jre7\bin)


C:\PROGRA~2\Java\jre7\bin\java.exe -classpath "C:\Electric\electric-9.07.jar;C:\Electric\electricSFS-9.07.jar" com.sun.electric.Launcher


where, using the 8.3 filenameC:\PROGRA~1\ is the same as C:\Program Files\ and C:\PROGRA~2\ is the same as C:\Program Files (x86)\. Additional help is found here.


Using SPICE (optional)

  1. See: HSPICE or LTspice for SPICE information.  


Increasing the Memory limit of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) for larger designs

  1. To increase Electric’s available memory (default is 64 MB) go to File -> Preferences -> General -> General and increase the maximum memory size as seen below. Note that if you are using the waveform viewer in Electric and not increasing the maximum memory then it will be easy to run out of memory when reading a SPICE raw file resulting in an “Exception Caught!”


Setting up the Electrical Rule Check (ERC) for n-well CMOS processes that use n-well resistors or higher than VDD voltages (optional)

Note how we don’t require that the n-well be tied to VDD (Power) as we would in a pure digital design that doesn’t use n-well

resistors or PMOS devices with potentials above VDD (as found in a charge pump).


Removing user preferences: 1) in Windows - The Electric Windows registry can be cleared (which eliminates all of your setups including key bindings, colors, preferences, history, etc.) by going to Start -> (All Programs -> Accessories ->) Run then running regedit (registry edit) and deleting the folder HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\JavaSoft\Prefs\com\sun\electric 2) in Unix (et. al.) – delete the .java folder in your home directory


Starting Electric in Unix - Type, in a terminal window in the directory where the electric jar file is saved:   java -Xmx512m -jar electric-9.07.jar &


For adding additional plugins (e.g., IRSIM), follow the instructions given by the -help option.


Detailed Electric install information for any Unix operating system including Solaris, Linux and MacOSX (from a xterm)


To start Electric from the jar file (without add-ons) use:


$JAVA -Xmx$M -Xss2m -XX:MaxPermSize=128m -jar $JAR @ARGV


$JAVA: your java binary
$M: heap memory like -Xmx3000m  for 3GB
-Xss2m -XX:MaxPermSize=128m: you might want to use those values or not define them at all.
$JAR = electric.jar
@ARGV: commands like -help, -version, -debug, etc. -help will give you all the online commands.


Electric tutorials are found here.


Return to the Electric VLSI page at