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IC Design Blog

19 Mar, 2014

Déjà Vu All Over Again

Posted by Shelly Stalnaker

Shelly Stalnaker Trailblazers, followers, and stragglers…semiconductor companies have usually always sorted themselves out along these lines. At 20nm, though ,we’re beginning to see a shift in these classifications that is affecting both technology node adoption and market strategy. Only a few companies are moving to nodes at 20nm and below, while many of the typical followers have decided to stay at 28nm … Read More

Foundry, IC Design, 14nm, 16nm, 10nm, advanced node, leading-edge, Semiconductor, Christen Decoin, 20nm, technology node, 28nm

18 Mar, 2014

Old Faithful

Posted by Shelly Stalnaker

Shelly Stalnaker While unpredictability may account for the lure of gambling, reliability is an essential part of our everyday lives. Yellowstone National Park, which sits above the Yellowstone Caldera, contains half of the world’s geothermal features. Among the most famous is Old Faithful, a huge geyser that erupts at regular intervals. One reason tourists flock from all over the world to this park is that they know … Read More

IC Design, IC Verification, 16nm, 20nm, 10nm, circuit, PERC, Reliability, electrical, 45nm, Verification, Calibre

14 Mar, 2014

Are You ECO-Friendly?

Posted by Shelly Stalnaker

Shelly Stalnaker Every designer dreads the last-minute engineering change order, or ECO. Just when you think you’re done…you’re not. At 45nm and below, ECOs get even more difficult to implement, because fill now has a direct impact on design performance. A small re-routing can get complicated very quickly with the complex fill requirements of advanced nodes. Fortunately, help is available! On Semiconductor … Read More

P&R, Jeff Wilson, place and route, 45nm, 20nm, IC Design, smart fill, ic manufacturing, DRC, ECO fill

3 Mar, 2014

Lights! Camera! Multi-Patterning!

Posted by Shelly Stalnaker

Shelly Stalnaker David Abercrombie recently met with Brian Bailey of Semiconductor Engineering to explain many of the concepts and issues of multi-patterning that he has been writing about for the last couple of years. If you want to understand the basics of multi-patterning requirements, 12 minutes is all you need to check out their first video: Tech Talk: Multipatterning on semiengineering.com. If the video piques … Read More

double patterning, EUV, 20nm, Multi-Patterning, triple patterning, IC Design, ic manufacturing

19 Feb, 2014

Shelly Stalnaker The terms vector and vectorless modes are commonly used in the context of dynamic power grid (PG) analysis, but what do these terms mean? The PG dynamic simulator uses a design’s activity suite to compute the voltages and currents in the PG network. In vector mode, typically referred as a value change dump (VCD), logic simulation is used to generate the complete activity suite. In vectorless mode, the … Read More

IC Design, IC Verification, dynamic power grid analysis, vcd, vectorless verification, power grid analysis, value change dump

14 Feb, 2014

Variability is EVERYWHERE!

Posted by Shelly Stalnaker

Shelly Stalnaker At advanced nodes, variability issues lurk behind every design mode, power state, process condition, and manufacturing step. Yet designers must find a way to balance the optimization of multiple operational modes and design corners against the aggressive performance and power targets demanded by today’s fast-moving markets. Concurrent analysis and optimization during place and route operations can provide … Read More

place and route, design corners, IC Design, concurrent analysis, Olympus-SoC, P&R, IC Verification, mcmm

29 Jan, 2014

UPDATE: Multi-Patterning Unmasked!!

Posted by Shelly Stalnaker

Shelly Stalnaker Download the latest version of our guide to multi-patterning design and debugging, containing links to all of David Abercrombie’s detailed educational articles on SemiEngineering.com, along with links for complementary reference and learning options. Whether you are already working on designs with multi-patterning requirements, or just beginning multi-patterning work, you will benefit from David’s … Read More

triple patterning, double patterning, IC Design, Debugging, Physical Verification, SADP, ic manufacturing, Multi-Patterning

27 Jan, 2014

The Trouble with Triples—Part 2

Posted by Shelly Stalnaker

Shelly Stalnaker Diamonds may not be a designer’s best friend when debugging triple patterning errors. Triple patterning violations can be quite complex, and debugging can be tricky, but the challenges are manageable with software that helps the designer understand the design issues. Learn how to recognize and avoid triple patterning traps in part 2 of The Trouble with Triples on SemiEngineering by multi-patterning … Read More

20 Jan, 2014

TSMC OIP presentations now available!

Posted by Shelly Stalnaker

Shelly Stalnaker Are you a TSMC customer or partner? If so, you’ll want to take a look at these presentations from the 2013 TSMC Open Innovation Platform conference. Design Reliability with Calibre YE-SmartFill and Calibre PERC (Broadcom & Mentor Graphics) New methodologies were developed for 28nm designs using Calibre SmartFill and Calibre PERC. Calibre SmartFill was deployed to meet the new strict DFM requirements … Read More

16 Jan, 2014

FinFET Fever...or FinFET Fear?

Posted by Shelly Stalnaker

Shelly Stalnaker All the major foundries have announced FinFET technologies. FinFETs hold the promise of lower power usage and better area utilization, as well as traditional scaling improvements. Aaaaand…the thought of implementing them may be scaring the willies out of a lot of designers. How do I design these things? How do I know what the design needs? How do I verify them? Well, first, take a deep breath. … Read More

Parasitic Extraction, Foundry, transistor, 16nm, 22nm, 14nm, FinFET, Calibre, circuit design

15 Jan, 2014

2014 is Underway! What's on Your Calendar?

Posted by Shelly Stalnaker

Shelly Stalnaker What’s coming in 2014? What new challenges await? Are you ready? Get a heads-up on some of the trends and events of the next 12 months with two articles. First, if you’re contemplating, or already working on, 2.5D and 3D ICs, you should take a look at 3D IC Design: Outlook for 2014 on 3D InCites. Written by Joseph Sawicki, this article can help you prepare for your 3D IC implementations. … Read More

Design for Manufacturing, Calibre, Design Rule Checking, 14nm, IC Design, 16nm, IC Verification, MEMs, 10nm, Physical Verification, 3D-IC, DRC, 3DIC, FinFET, 2.5D, Foundry, 20nm

15 Jan, 2014

Shelly Stalnaker DRC- and DFM-clean designs can still have hundreds to thousands of violations that must be debugged and corrected. How? Why? Mismatches between a router’s simplified tech file and the complete (and complex) signoff design rule decks at advanced nodes are generating significant numbers of DRC/DFM errors that can wreak havoc on your tapeout schedules. In particular, we’re seeing greater visibility … Read More

tech file, tapeout, DRC, Design Rule Checking, P&R, signoff, IC Design, IC Verification

15 Jan, 2014

How Do I?

Posted by Shelly Stalnaker

Shelly Stalnaker It happens all the time, to all of us. You need a quick answer for a very specific question about using your EDA tools. You don’t want to wade through technical documentation, you don’t have time for an email response, and you really don’t want to try searching EDA forums for an answer. We feel your pain, and we decided to do something about it. Need to know how to extract a net from … Read More

tapeout, Debugging, Calibre, Productivity, signoff, electrical verification, Physical Verification

13 Dec, 2013

Qualification Is Just the Beginning

Posted by Shelly Stalnaker

Shelly Stalnaker Press releases can make it seem like EDA tool qualification for a particular IC process node is the “end game.” But in truth, qualification is just the first publicly visible step of ongoing collaborations between an EDA vendor and the foundry. Michael White takes you behind the curtain for a peek at what goes on during qualification from start to finish, as part of his ongoing Silicon Edge series … Read More

tool qualification, tapeout, DRM, Foundry, design rule manual, process design kit, rule deck, IC, PDK

13 Dec, 2013

Shelly Stalnaker Just like blueprints give an architect a visual representation of a building, design patterns provide engineers with a visual depiction of complex layout geometries. Design patterns have become a useful tool throughout design, verification, and test processes. This Design-to-Silicon white paper explains how Calibre Pattern Matching software can help you implement automated pattern capture and pattern … Read More

pattern capture, Mentor Graphics, Pattern Matching, D2S, Design Rule Checking, Calibre Pattern Matching, SVRF, Foundry, hotspot detection, yield detractors, design waivers, DRC

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