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UMC is getting 65nm interest

Posted: 27 Jun 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:United Microelectronics Corp.? UMC? DFM? design-for-manufacturing? 65nm?

Top tier silicon foundry United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) said recently that a pair of customers have qualified 65nm designs and are in production at the foundry, with eight other customers engaged and 11 product tape-outs expected by the end of summer 2006.

According to UMC, customers are benefiting from the company's set of design-for-manufacturing (DFM) and yield optimization package, which the company rolled out for 90nm in March. The package incorporates DFM elements into standard-cell libraries, SPICE models and design flows to provide yield-enhancing knowledge throughout the design and manufacturing stages.

"The widespread demand for our 65nm process illustrates that customers are eager to realize the performance advantages that this advanced process brings to their products, as well as the success of our DFM solutions in addressing design challenges at deep sub-micron technologies," said Patrick Lin, UMC's chief SoC architect, in a statement.

In March, Texas Instruments Inc. qualified UMC at 65nm. Programmable logic supplier Xilinx Inc. last year expanded its longstanding partnership with UMC to include 65nm foundry work.

According to Lin, DFM considerations existed before the 90nm node, though the topic was not widely discussed until the past two years. "Over the years, UMC has been expanding its DFM solutions to address new manufacturing effects with minimum design flow intrusion, which have proven to be of particular value for designers using our 90nm process," Lin said.

UMC's approach emphasizes the provision of optimized DFM resources that customers can incorporate into existing design environment, rather than a one-size-fits all approach. UMC's DFM solution includes DFM-compliant intellectual property that embraces the intricacies of the fabrication process. The foundry says it also performs post-tapeout services for each customer, including optical proximity correction, lithography rule checking, dummy metal fill and slotting.

UMC partnered with every major EDA vendors as well as smaller, DFM-focused niche companies to develop its 65nm offering, the company said. The foundry's DFM offerings include lithography process check, critical area analysis, lithography- and CMP-variation-aware extraction, thermal impact analysis and static statistical timing analysis.

"UMC's DFM package is being offered as a complete solution, as we handle all key DFM considerations for our customers, allowing them instead to focus their efforts on developing their advanced 65nm SoC designs," Lin said. "UMC accomplishes this by providing 65nm technology files and other necessary information to EDA vendors so they may bring this capability to the designer."

UMC's 65nm process is currently ramping to volume production at the company's 300mm fabs in Taiwan and Singapore. The company plans to show details of its 65nm DFM offering at the Design Automation Conference here next month.

- Dylan McGrath
EE Times

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