In versions of XJTAG prior to 2.0, the system supported just four netlist formats: RINF, EDIF 2, PADS PCB and Protel. The parsers for these netlists were written carefully against specifications for the formats where possible, and so should reliably parse all valid netlists in those formats.

Frequently during that time, customers would not have a netlist available in any of those formats, and so we began writing simple conversion scripts in Perl for the netlists that customers did have, to convert the simpler ones we found into RINF. With version 2.0, these scripts were formalised and integrated into XJDeveloper, which meant that such netlists were effectively officially supported. Over time, the number of supported formats has grown to nearly 60.

However, these netlist parsers are almost never based on a formal specification, but on the syntax we can infer from the customer’s example netlist. Often the customer is detached from the CAD process – they’re a manufacturer for example – and so they may not know what application the format is from, which means we may not even have a reliable name for the format! XJDeveloper is now smart enough that the user does not need to specify the netlist format – the format is recognised and imported automatically. If the format is not one of the original four well-supported formats or one of a handful of others – because of the uncertainty of naming the format – XJDeveloper will typically just display the name of the format as “ASCII”.

We are proud of the range of formats that the system is capable of parsing – our aim is that the user simply provides the netlist in whatever format they have and the system accepts it. If you have a netlist that is not recognised, then please contact XJTAG Support, and we will be happy to take a look and hopefully add that format to a future release.

If you have a netlist that is recognised, but comes back with errors, then again please contact us and we will do our best to fix it – we are always keen to improve our products.