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Computational litho tools roll with Cell B.E. tech

Posted: 06 Mar 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:computational litho tools? Calibre nmOPC? processor?

Mentor Graphics Corp. has rolled out the Calibre nmOPC and OPCverify computational lithography tools accelerated with Cell Broadband Engine (Cell/B.E.) processor technology that have been qualified for production at IBM for 45nm and smaller process nodes.

"IBM Microelectronics has qualified Calibre nmOPC software with Cell/B.E. acceleration to improve critical mask layer time-to-market, while maintaining acceptable total cost of computing for 45nm and 32nm designs," said Tim Farrell, distinguished engineer, IBM Microelectronics Division. "Cell/B.E. multicore technology is a great fit for computational lithography due to its ability to accelerate the image simulation and FFT processing used in nmOPC."

Like other areas involving complex simulation, the performance requirements for computational lithography for IC manufacturing are outrunning the performance of general-purpose computing platforms. Just as other segments from aerospace to medical imaging have turned to Cell/B.E. processor platforms, IC development also needs the power of this advanced technology to meet a combination of turnaround, throughput, accuracy and cost management objectives.

To address the challenge of computational lithography for advanced technology nodes, Mentor Graphics partnered with Mercury Computer Systems to optimize Calibre nmOPC and OPCverify software for the Cell/B.E. processor. Mercury provides a pre-integrated coprocessor acceleration (CPA) cluster comprising Cell/B.E. blades in an IBM BladeCenter H system. Customers simply connect the CPA cluster to their existing standard compute cluster using a standard Ethernet connection. The combination of advanced software and hardware provides dramatic reductions in turnaround time and cost for advanced IC technology nodes.

Cell/B.E. technology is being used to accelerate other electronics industry workloads such as photomask and LCD inspection, as well as imaging and real-time analytics workloads in digital content creation and distribution, digital video surveillance, medical imaging, aerospace and defense, seismic petroleum and financial markets.

The Calibre nmOPC and OPCverify software for standard and CPA clusters is available from Mentor Graphics. The pre-integrated BladeCenter H CPA cluster is available from Mercury Computer Systems.

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