Mentor Graphics and TSMC collaborate on 20nm IC physical verifications

Mentor Graphics Corp. today announced significant achievements in its continued collaboration with TSMC on 20nm physical verification kit optimizations. This joint effort has reduced Calibre nmDRC 20nm signoff runtimes by at least a factor of 3X and memory requirements by 60 percent compared to initial design kits released last year. In addition, Calibre PERC N20 design kits are now available to TSMC customers as part of the companies’ ongoing collaboration for IC reliability improvement. The collaboration will continue as mutual customer’s ramp their releases of N20 production designs, with the goal of maintaining rapid turnaround on full-chip signoff runs for the largest SoC designs in the industry.

The Calibre PERC kit for N20 includes new checks for latch-up prevention and IO-ESD protection, and a number of multiple power domain checks, which represent a significant step forward in automating procedures that previously had to be done manually. Moreover, by using both the Calibre PERC and Calibre nmDRC kits, customers are able to quickly identify and correct voltage-aware DRC violations, which is critical for today’s multi-voltage advanced process designs.

Other ongoing collaboration between TSMC and Mentor is focusing on optimizing the Calibre DFM product family, which incorporates TSMC’s unified DFM (UDFM) engine. Improvements are expected to result in runtime reduction in TSMC’s latest DDK release, and customers who use any DFM tools compliant with TSMC UDFM engine will benefit.

“Our work with TSMC demonstrates the advantage of close collaboration among the foundry, EDA vendor and lead customers to bring new process nodes to market more efficiently,” said Michael Buehler-Garcia, senior director of Calibre Design Solutions Marketing at Mentor Graphics. “Our efforts don’t stop when tools are qualified. We continue to work with TSMC to optimize the design kits as the process matures, resulting in overall shorter design cycle times.”

“The close working relationship between TSMC and Mentor has existed for many years and continues to result in new solutions and rapid performance optimization,” said Suk Lee, TSMC senior director, Design Infrastructure Marketing Division. “With N20 we have taken our efforts to the next level to deliver optimized Calibre DRC decks, which include multi-patterning, on an even faster timetable than for prior nodes. Building on this success we have already extended performance improvements to the first-release Calibre N16 decks.”

TSMC and Mentor will speak about their recent optimization efforts in a session titled “Best Practices for Verification at Advanced 20nm Process Nodes” at the Design Automation Conference (DAC), Austin, Texas, June 2-5.

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