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GlobalFoundries rolls validated library for 28nm

Posted: 22 Jun 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:silicon solution  28nm design  design flow  silicon library 

GlobalFoundries has introduced a silicon-validated solution to help accelerate time-to-volume for complex SoC designs at 28nm and beyond. Called DRC+, the technique goes beyond standard design rule checking (DRC) and uses 2D shape-based pattern-matching to enable a 100-fold speed improvement in identifying complex manufacturing issues without sacrificing accuracy.

"As the industry continues to adopt more advanced process technology, it becomes increasingly critical for foundries to provide customers with the tools to ensure first-silicon success," said Mojy Chian, senior VP of design enablement at GlobalFoundries. "Standard DRC is challenged to capture design issues that could impact the manufacturability of an integrated circuit. With DRC+, we are improving upon the traditional approach and giving customers increased visibility into potential manufacturability issues, earlier in the design flow."

Until now, a designer has only had two primary options for identifying design-for-manufacturing issues during the SoC design cycle: run accurate but computationally intensive simulations based on numerical algorithms, or rely on metrology measurements directly from the fab. Attempts have been made to improve upon standard DRC with additional rules, but these approaches have had mixed success. For example, some have proposed the use of restrictive design rules that only allow highly regular structures for layout, avoiding problematic 2D geometries altogether. The potential drawback is that designers cannot effectively optimise their circuits to meet application requirements with overly constrained design rules.

DRC+ takes a different approach. Instead of restricting the flexibility of designers, the technique augments standard DRC by applying rapid 2D shape-based pattern matching to identify problematic configurations that could be difficult to manufacture. The tool then returns specific feedback to designers on how to resolve these issues.

As a critical component of DRC+, GlobalFoundries is now offering customers what it claims to be the first silicon-validated libraries of yield-critical patterns for technologies at 28nm and below. In tests run at GlobalFoundries, DRC+ identified known problem patterns at speeds comparable to traditional DRC verification engines-leading to a 100-fold improvement in the speed of hotspot detection, without sacrificing accuracy.

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