How to Design a Stick Diagram

Written by lauren pringle
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to Design a Stick Diagram
Design a stick design. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Stick diagrams are useful for planning layout and routing of integrated circuits. In a stick diagram every line is labelled as a conducting material symbolised by a letter or colour. Use stick designs to make simple circle layouts more approachable. Planning a physical design using stick diagrams before entering a Computer Aided Design tool can save time and energy. Label your lines clearly and ease yourself into the field of Very Large Scale Integration design. VLSI designs aim to translate circuit concepts onto silicon. In order to design stick diagrams, a knowledge of circuit design is necessary.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Paper
  • Ruler
  • Coloured pencils
  • Pen

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Design a colour-coded key for your stick diagram. Take four different colours and draw four straight lines to indicate each section of the design. Label one line metal, the second poly and the third active n+ or p+.

  2. 2

    Learn the following rules before designing your stick diagram. The rules for designing stick diagrams are based on the characteristics of conducting layers. The routing is important, not the width of the materials. The poly line over the active line creates activity. Metal lines may cross over active or poly lines without a connection. Connections between layers are labelled with an X which represents an active contact.

  3. 3

    Sketch your own stick diagram. You will discover that VLSI layouts can become complex as you add more wires that represent different energy transfers. Stick diagrams are easy to draw and will help you plan the wiring before using the CAD tool. Using the rules of circuit construction, draw a simple circuit. Draw six different lines that cross over each other and create various circuits of activity.

  4. 4

    Experiment with your stick diagrams and explore different patterns and different electrical circuits. Keep in line with the rules of circuit formation and experiment with different patterns.

  5. 5

    Research other examples of stick diagrams and take inspiration in creating new circuit designs.

Don't Miss

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.