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EDA tool manages process variability early in design stage

Posted: 20 Apr 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Mentor Graphics? design for manufacturing? DFM? Calibre LFD? Litho-Friendly Design?

Mentor Graphics Corp. expanded its design for manufacturing (DFM) solution lineup with the release of the Calibre LFD (Litho-Friendly Design) product. According to the company, the Calibre LFD is the first production-proven, EDA tool to address the urgent issue of how to manage process variability in the early stages of design creation.

Calibre LFD enables designers to make trade-off decisions on how to create a design that is more robust and less sensitive to the lithographic process window. According to the Mentor, this is important at the 90nm technology node, and crucial at the 65nm node, where process variations can greatly influence silicon results.

"In the past, it has been the responsibility of the foundry to ensure printability," said Joe Sawicki, vice president and general manager for the design-to-silicon division at Mentor. "Now for the first time, with Calibre LFD, designers can have a big impact on how well designs yield through the variances of the process window."

An LFD kit is provided to the designer by foundries and fabs, much in the same manner as a design rule checking (DRC) kit. The kit includes energy, dose and mask bias considerations, RET recipes, process models, and the parameterizable rules to be checked, all presented in a common results database. The designer can run simulations to see how a layout will print under a particular lithographic process window. The goal is to drive the design to an 'LFD clean' as well as a 'DRC clean' sign-off.

Calibre LFD also calculates a Design Variability Index (DVI) as a way to measure how resilient the design is to process variations; a lower DVI value represents a more resilient design. The DVI is used to compare different layout implementations and help designers select the one with the least sensitivity to variation.

Calibre LFD is built on the Calibre design-to-silicon platform, and can be launched within popular layout environments through Calibre Interactive. This product plugs into a design flow much like an iterative design step, using the same layout editor used for the initial design. Designers can use a layout viewer/editor and a results viewing environment, such as Calibre RVE or Calibre DESIGNrev, to view the check results and variability databases.

The Calibre LFD is available immediately. Pricing starts at $246,000 (one year term license).

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