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Cadence acquires DFM firm Clear Shape

Posted: 21 Aug 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:chip design? DFM technology? acquisition?

Cadence Design Systems Inc. has acquired Clear Shape Technologies Inc., a DFM technology firm specializing in design-side solutions to minimize yield loss for advanced semiconductor ICs. Terms of the agreement were undisclosed.

Merging both companies technologies will allow Cadence to deliver manufacturing awareness and lithographic correctness for all layers in an IC from transistor through interconnect, in designs ranging from SoCs to full-custom and all design domains including analog, digital and mixed signal.

Traditional manufacturing-side lithography analysis products take days or weeks to run, which is unacceptable for competitive chip design. Clear Shape's breakthrough technology not only offers orders-of-magnitude performance improvements in detecting lithographic "hot spots," but also models the impact of optical processing variations on the electrical performance of the chip. This combination significantly improves and extends pre-tapeout DFM capabilities. As a result, Clear Shape's InShape and Outperform products have found significant favor with chip design teams in both cell-based and transistor-level applications at sub-90nm process nodes.

"We think there's a lot of momentum to be gained by integrating Clear Shape's predictive, manufacturing-OPC-tool independent, validated-in-silicon lithography capabilities into the Cadence DFM environment," said Atul Sharan, president and CEO of Clear Shape. "We've always believed that the combination of rule-based and model-based technologies is the future of DFM, and Cadence shares this belief. This synergy allows us to provide the industry leading support for the widest range of advanced IC designs."

"This synergy is crucial for chip designs at 65nm and below, where lithographic effects are more numerous and complex. Designers who can tackle these effects early during the design phase, will ramp their chips to production faster than those who have to wait," said Richard Brashears, corporate VP of manufacturing, modeling and implementation at Cadence. "This will allow us to make litho-awareness pervasive throughout our design flow."

Clear Shape's products are in the DFM qualification programs of the major semiconductor foundries. InShape technology is the first qualified TSMC Reference Flow 8.0 lithography process checker for all levels (transistor through interconnect) for devices at 65-, 55- and 45nm.

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