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qrouter - Multi-level, over-the-cell maze router


qrouter [-noc] [-s scriptname] [options] [design_name]


This manual page documents briefly the qrouter command.

Qrouter is a tool to generate metal layers and vias to physically connect together a netlist in a VLSI fabrication technology. It is a maze router, otherwise known as an "over-the-cell" router or "sea-of-gates" router. That is, unlike a channel router, it begins with a description of placed standard cells, usually packed together at minimum spacing, and places metal routes over the standard cells.

Qrouter uses the open standard LEF and DEF formats as file input and output. It takes the cell definitions from a LEF file, and analyzes the geometry for each cell to determine contact points and route obstructions. It then reads the cell placement, pin placement, and netlist from a DEF file, performs the detailed route, and writes an annotated DEF file as output.


Qrouter can run be run in several ways:
Interactive mode. If qrouter is started without any options, a tkcon window will be opened with an interpreter where commands may be entered.
Normal batch mode. This mode is activated if a tcl script is given with the "-s" option. It can be run with or without a graphical window. If "-noc" is given, no graphical window will appear.

    Run without graphical window:
     qrouter -noc -s routescript.tcl
    Run with a graphical window showing the layout while it is routing:
     qrouter -s routescript.tcl
Compatibility mode with qrouter 1.1. This mode is activated if either of the options "-c", "-v", "-i", "-p" or "-g" are given. This is a batch mode.


No console mode
-s <scriptname>
Run scriptname


-c <file>
Configuration file name (if not route.cfg)
-v <level>
Verbose output level
-i <name>
Print route names and pitches and exit
-p <name>
Specify global power bus name
-g <name>
Specify global ground bus name


The input files for qrouter is an unrouted or partly routed .def file containing the layout and a .cfg file containing the tcl script used to do the routing. The .cfg file also needs to specify a .lef file describing the technology.


qrouter will output the fully routed .def file (if successful routing). This may then later be converted to a GDSII file using tools such as magic.




qrouter was written by Tim Edwards <>.

This manual page was written by Ruben Undheim <>, for the Debian project (and may be used by others).

31 October 2018