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Mentor tool aims to manage process variability on yield

Posted: 11 Jan 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Calibre OPCverify? manufacturing solutions? Mentor Graphics? Calibre Verification Center? lithography?

Mentor Graphics Corp. announced the availability of the Calibre OPCverify tool, which aims to address the challenge of managing the impact of "process variability" on yield.

Process variability can have a dramatic effect on yield, said Mentor. This is especially true in the lithographic process where variability puts image fidelity at risk even when the operating conditions of the lithographic system (lithographic process window) are acceptable. To reduce the risk of silicon failure, avoid costly respins and ensure acceptable yield, the tool detects lithographic errors or marginalities caused by process variability before the design goes to the mask or wafer manufacturer.

The increased complexity of RET Suite puts 'design back into DFM'" target=_blank>resolution enhancement technology (RET) at 65nm is impacting lithographic yield in several ways. The major contributors to declining yields are: a smaller lithographic process window, increased sensitivity to layout topology in the lithographic process, and complex mask rule constraints that impact the application of RET.

Calibre OPCverify, which uses silicon-proven simulation models from Calibre OPCpro, is the next generation of RET verification, providing 100 percent simulation coverage of the entire chip to ensure silicon-patterning success. The Calibre OPCverify pixel-based simulation engine accounts for the effects of process variability using patented algorithms that define the conditions that adversely impact pattern transfer.

The set-up and configuration of Calibre OPCverify is enabled through a user interface called the Calibre Verification Center. With Calibre OPCVerify and the Calibre Verification Center, said the company, a RET mask verification flow can be integrated into existing post-layout flows in less than 24 hours.

"For 90nm and smaller technology nodes, the complexity of OPC and the constraints that go with it require verification to prevent silicon failures," said Joe Sawicki, VP and GM for the design-to-silicon division at Mentor. "Some customer sources claim that 50 percent of all mask respins can be avoided by simply verifying the OPC for the effects of process variability. Calibre OPCverify yields a powerful return on investment through savings in mask costs and more predictable yield."

Calibre OPCverify and the Calibre Verification Center are available immediately. Pricing starts at $80,000.

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