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IC Design Blog

10 Feb, 2011

Matthew Hogan Designers are discovering a new class of design errors that is difficult to check using more traditional methods, and can potentially affect a wide range of IC designs, especially where high reliability is a must. There errors require electrical rule checking to complement the tradition layout checks. Electrical rules are relatively complex, non-standard, and growing in number and type, creating a need … Read More

Low Power, PERC, ERC, thin oxide, Verification

22 Jan, 2011

Dawn at the OASIS

Posted by Joe Davis

Joe Davis Almost 10 years ago, as the industry was starting to adopt model-based OPC and other resolution enhancing techniques on a large scale, the ITRS got out its looking glass and saw an “explosion” in the size of the files used to describe chip layouts. As a result, a group of industry companies collaborated to create a SEMI spec for the OASIS format for layout data. The format was officially … Read More

diffusion of innovation, GDSII, Adoption, RET, tape-out, OASIS, OPC

29 Nov, 2010

Layout Density and the Analog Cell

Posted by John Ferguson

John Ferguson Density and the Analog Cell Analog design is a very sensitive business. Unlike the digital world, where circuits are on or off, and have built in hysteresis to prevent inadvertent toggling, analog circuitry is intentionally designed to respond to minor fluctuations in the signal. As a result, analog layout is riskier than digital. To prevent race conditions, or minor (yet potentially catastrophic) … Read More

density, DRC, analog, layout

20 Aug, 2010

Effects of Inception

Posted by Arvind Narayanan

Arvind Narayanan For those of you who were wondering if I had fallen off the face of the planet, the answer is no. My mind was stuck in a limbo when I got hurt in an extraction (not the parasitic kind) mission. Confused? Read on… I finally got to watch the critically acclaimed sci-fi movie Inception last weekend and life has never been the same again. Without giving away too much detail for the benefit of those who … Read More

Donut Domains, Multi-Voltage Flow, always-on, UPF

21 Jun, 2010

Simon Favre Just back from DAC in Anaheim. The last true Denali party was a smash. We’ll see if the tradition continues under new management. Nothing amazing to report about the show. Attendance seemed OK, though not stellar. Here’s an observation some may find interesting. I worked booth duty at both the TSMC OIP pavilion and the Global Foundries Global Solutions pavilion. At TSMC, the attendees needed to get … Read More

GF, DAC

2 Jun, 2010

Enabling Superior Support

Posted by John Ferguson

John Ferguson In my last few posts, I began discussing on what it takes to enable software quality and support.  This particular post will focus on the latter, support. Of course the goal of any descent software provider is to deliver software that is bug free, intuitive to use, and performs a valuable service.  While we strive for perfection, in reality these goals can never be fully achieved.  In the EDA world, … Read More

Mentor Graphics, Physical Verification, Calibre, Support

11 May, 2010

Simon Favre This week, I’m off to present a paper on Critical Area Analysis and Memory Redundancy. It’s at the 2010 IEEE North Atlantic Test Workshop in Hopewell Junction, NY, just up the road from Fishkill. IBM is in Fishkill. IBM invented CAA in what, the 1960’s? Venturing into IBM country to speak on Critical Area Analysis is kind of like being the court jester. I just hope they don’t say, “Off with his head.” … Read More

Redundancy, CAA, SoC, SRAM

15 Apr, 2010

Economy must be improving

Posted by Simon Favre

Simon Favre If attendance at the TSMC Technology Symposium in San Jose (link redirects) is any indicator, the economy must be improving. Official attendance was said to be 1500, but it felt like it was more. Of course, there were a lot of TSMC staff milling about, and they did have 2 of the booths in the vendor area for their own offerings, but there were still a lot of people there. The thing EDA vendors like … Read More

Economy

18 Mar, 2010

Simon Favre The recent earthquake in Taiwan did have an impact on TSMC’s production, but probably not as great as some in the press have indicated:  TSMC loses 40K wafers in quake. This blog gives a more careful reading of the announcement. What it comes down to is “1.5 days loss of wafer movement for the company in total.” Regardless of whether or not they had to scrap any wafers, 1.5 days of downtime is 1.5 … Read More

earthquake

15 Mar, 2010

Assuring Software Quality

Posted by John Ferguson

John Ferguson In my last blog I discussed the importance of support and the value it provides in the physical verification space.  As indicated, one of the key components in providing support is having an infrastructure helps to assure quality software releases in the first place.  In this blog, I will provide more insight into the procedures in place within the Calibre organization that help to ensure the high standards … Read More

DRC, Mentor, Calibre, Physical Verificaiton, PV

4 Feb, 2010

Arvind Narayanan Step 0 Commitment – Are you really sure you want to MV? Are you positive that Multi-Vt & Clock gating would not help with your power budgets? Proceed to step1 with caution only if you really must. Step 1 Architecture Selection – Ensure that the architecture is frozen and capture all the power constraints required for the chosen MV style in the UPF file. As most of you are aware this can also be done … Read More

Isolation Cells, Level Shifter, Always on Buffers, Power Switches, UPF, MTCMOS, Multi-Voltage

27 Jan, 2010

The Value of Support

Posted by John Ferguson

John Ferguson When asked about the value that the Calibre platform brings to the design community, most folks will respond with performance, foundry support, and ease of debugging. While these are all valuable aspects and traits of Calibre, there is one more benefit that is often taken for granted: support. The word “support” is something bandied around loosely in EDA. Saying you have good support is akin to saying … Read More

DRC, EDA Ssoftware Support, Calibre, LVS, Physical Verification

15 Dec, 2009

John Ferguson I don’t normally take the time to respond to any of the various competitive claims out there. But recently in ESNUG 483, item #2, there was a posting entitled “We recently dumped Mentor Calibre for Magma Quartz DRC/LVS” (http://www.deepchip.com/items/0483-02.html) that I feel needs to be addressed because it is misleading. So let me lay out the facts to set the record straight. Tezzaron Semiconductor … Read More

Deepchip, DRC, Calibre, Quartz, Tezzaron, LVS, Physical Verification

14 Dec, 2009

Clocks will be Clocks..

Posted by Arvind Narayanan

Arvind Narayanan Clock designers are an enigma. Clock designers in general are die hard star wars fans, own vintage Porsches that leak oil by the gallon, usually have lava lamps in their offices/cubicles, wear fancy leather jackets in peak summer and have likeminded clock designers as best lunch buddies. Clock designers are notorious for making other lesser designers cry with their fancy PLL spice runs, non-negotiable … Read More

IC, Low Power

20 Nov, 2009

IBM Addresses Leakage

Posted by David Abercrombie

David Abercrombie

In case you missed the webinar by Jim Culp on November 3rd, I wanted to give you an opportunity to see what you missed. Jim is a Senior Engineer in IBM’s Advanced Physical Design and Technology Integration team. He is leading a team in the development of Parametric DFM and the mitigation of Circuit Limited Yield (CLY). During the webinar he discussed how CLY is becoming the leading contributor to yield

Read More

Physical Verification, DRC, Leakage, IC Design, Design Quality, IC Verification, Design for Manufacturing

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