Installation Guide

To use Nazca you need a Python3 environment. Nazca depends on a number of python packages, such as Pandas, SciPy, NumPy and Matplotlib. They will be installed automatically with the Anaconda Distribution.

To execute Nazca scripts we normally run Spyder. It provides a good python interface. There are many alternatives that also work well with Nazca, such as Eclipse or Pycharm. Nazca even runs perfectly fine in your webbrowser, inside a Jupyter Notebook.

To review generated mask layouts we recommend using KLayout. The use of layer colors and layer views in KLayout is tightly integrated with Nazca. However, since Nazca generates standard GDS-II files, you can in principle use any GDS viewer.

Step by Step Installation

Step 1. Download and Install the Anaconda Distribution:

  • – Anaconda Distribution includes Python3 and the scientific, analytic and visualization libraries used in Nazca
  • – You will need to select the Python3 Anaconda Installer for your OS

After successful installation you should see Anaconda3 in your Menu.

Step 2. Download and Install Nazca:

  • – Nazca is distributed as a python installation package (pip)
  • – The zip is the pip, do not un-zip the downloaded Nazca installer
  • – Open the Anaconda Prompt console
  • – In the console type: pip install “path-to-nazca-installer\”
  • for example: pip install “C:\Users\Katarzyna\Downloads\”

You can follow the installation progress in the console:

Check if the Nazca package was installed by typing in the console: pip show nazca

Congratulations! You successfully installed Nazca!

Step 3. Pyclipper installation:

  • Pyclipper is a python library used in Nazca and may require a separate installation
  • – In the Anaconda Prompt console type: pip install pyclipper

  • – In some OS versions the pyclipper module may fail to install, always use the latest version of pip. Nazca will work without the pyclipper module.

Step 4. Download and Install the latest version of KLayout mask editor/viewer:

  • – It is important to use the proper technology files (.lyp) for the PDK you are using.
    E.g. use demofab_klayout_colors.lyp for “demofab” and smart-nazca.lyp for proper visualization of the Smart Photonics foundry PDK.
  • – Follow the instructions for installing the technology file in the Nazca tutorial video at
  • – Other tutorial videos are available in the Nazca tutorials.

Step 5. Launch Nazca

  • – Open Jupyter Notebook or Spyder from the Anaconda Navigator or directly from the Menu
  • – If you choose to use Spyder, enable the following settings:
    Tools  >  Preferences  >  Run  >  Execute in a dedicated console
  • – Import Nazca module by typing in the command line: import nazca as nd

You are ready to go!


To execute the Jupyter Notebook document step-by-step press Shift+Enter. To run the whole notebook in one go: click on the menu Cell > Run All.

To execute files in Spyder go to menu Run > Run or press F5.

Enjoy your layout design and check the Nazca tutorials!