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Physical verification tool licensing program eases 65nm transition

Posted: 26 Aug 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DRC? software? designs? 65nm? physical verification?

Magma Design Automation Inc. announced the Quartz iPOP (improved Productivity, Operability and Performance) initiative to hasten and ease the adoption of the Quartz DRC and Quartz LVS software for designs at the 65nm node and below. Magma's Quartz products are scalable physical verification solutions that can handle large designs and provide turnaround time up to an order of magnitude faster than traditional solutions without sacrificing accuracy nor requiring additional hardware.

"The proportion of design activity at smaller geometries continues to increase. Just to maintain the same level of productivity means the physical verification needs to get faster," said Anirudh Devgan, general manager of Magma's Custom Design Business Unit.

Just looking at the trend based on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd's (TSMC's) Q2 2010 earnings report shows that 43 percent of the company's revenue came from its 65nm and 40nm process nodes, and the number of 40nm wafer shipments increased by 30 percent over the previous quarter. Thus, it is clear that the adoption rate of advanced process nodes is accelerating, and many wireless, networking, graphics and other high-volume semiconductor companies have already migrated to 65nm and smaller process technologies.

The number of transistors that can be placed on an IC doubles approximately every two years, consistent with the predictions of Moore's Law. At 65nm and below, the rule complexity and number of rules increase significantly. As a result, the cost of hardware and software, along with the runtime required for physical verification may quadruple as customers move to each new process node. At 65nm and below, traditional physical verification solutions fail to meet capacity, turnaround time and accuracy requirements.

"At 65nm and below, IC size and design rule complexity make physical verification an even tougher, time-consuming challengefrequently pushing chip delivery past acceptable deadlines," Devgan said, explaining the advantages offered by the Quartz DRC and Quartz LVS in dealing with the challenges.

The Quartz products enjoy broad foundry support and can be used for sign-off or in conjunction with third-party physical verification tools. Users of Magma's Talus IC implementation system can achieve additional improvements in turnaround time and predictability with Talus qDRC, which provides Sign-off in the Loop physical verification. Unlike traditional tools, Talus qDRC runs during placement and routing to immediately identify and correct design rule violations, allowing Talus to generate sign-off-clean designs.

In addition to a new licensing model, the iPOP program features a free trial of the Quartz DRC and Quartz LVS software.

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