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The benefits of creating patterns

Posted: 25 May 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:creating patterns  design nodes  design rule checking 

As design nodes drop below 45nm, design rules are exploding in number and complexity, making design rule checking (DRC) harder and lengthier. What we have observed across the industry is that the number of physical verification checks is growing at >20 per cent node over node—driven primarily by the growth of manufacturing process complexity. More alarming, the number of individual operations required to execute each check is also growing. The total number of operations within a physical verification deck is growing at >30 per cent node over node.

This explosion in size and complexity has impacts throughout the IC manufacturing flow that include increased difficulty reaching physical implementation closure, longer physical verification run times, and escalating debugging difficulty and timelines. With many layout issues now arising from both multi-dimensional interactions and combinations of measurements related by complex functions, detection of troublesome features can become a "needle in the haystack" hunt.

Imagine trying to describe even the simplest structure, say, a 3D box, using only words. Now draw a simple picture, and anyone in the world will immediately recognise that object. Pattern matching replaces tedious text-based rule programming scripts with a library of visual shapes and patterns representing geometric configurations that should be identified and removed from the physical design before they cause failures in manufacturing.

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