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ADS Layout Tutorial

Authors: Vipul Chawla and Dr. Dong S. Ha

The following tutorial explains the usage of ADS layout for designing a Printed Circuit Board (PCB). Please note that the tutorial has been written using Advanced Design System 2008 Update-I.

This following is the usual steps followed for the layout:

  1. Starting a new project
  2. Creating a new layout
  3. About layers and vias
  4. Organizing a layout project using components
  5. Creating vias
  6. Interconnecting the components
  7. Adding ground layer and top level solder masks
  8. Exporting the Layout for milling


1. Starting a new project

Change your current directory into the desired project area. Start Advanced Design System (ADS). Here at Virginia Tech, ADS can be started in either Impact cluster or in CVL cluster by typing “ads” from the command prompt. ADS main window as it appears upon start up is shown in figure 1 below.


ADS main window

Figure 1: ADS main window.


Next step is to create a new project. Click on File → New Project. A new project dialog appears. Fill-up the project path and name in the name field. Select a suitable unit for length to be used in your project. The resultant new project creation dialog looks as shown in figure 2 below:


ADS main window

Figure 2: New project creation dialog.


Click OK to open an ADS schematic window and schematic wizard. Close both the windows as we will proceed to layout design.


2. Creating a new layout

In the main window, click on File → New Design. A new design dialog box open. Fill up the design name “SMA-Connector” in this case. Select new “New Layout Window” and a suitable units from “Design Technology Files”. The dialog box appears as shown in figure 3 below.


ADS main window

Figure 3: New layout dialog box.


Hit "OK to open a new layout out window and a layer selection table window appears as shown in figure 4 below.


ADS main window

Figure 4: New layout window and layer selection table window.