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Fabless/Foundry Ecosystem Solutions

IC design, verification, and test tools, resources, and expertise to help fabless designers create successful IC, IP, and SoC products manufactured at the world’s leading foundries.

10 Jun, 2014

Shelly Stalnaker The World Cup is here! Every four years, the culmination of hundreds of qualifying matches around the world brings the best national teams together for nearly a month of intense competition to determine the world champion football team (Sorry, USA, but it’s football everywhere else). New national uniforms are unveiled, shoe companies vie to sponsor the best players and teams with their most advanced … Read More

IC Verification, ic manufacturing, Mentor Graphics, DRC, DRM, Design Rules, Foundry, process flow, IC Design, Fabless

13 May, 2014

Shelly Stalnaker With the advent of advanced process nodes, IC design teams have an increasing ability to pack more functionality and performance into state-of-the art SoCs. At the same time, every new node transition brings a flood of new design challenges that can severely impact design performance, power, and time-to-market. The introduction of multi-patterning, FinFET devices, complex DRC/DFM requirements, increased … Read More

P&R, Olympus-SoC, place and route, 16nm, 20nm, 10nm, IC Design, Multi-Patterning, double patterning, FinFET

8 May, 2014

Shelly Stalnaker Remember learning your colors in kindergarten? Learning how to debug color assignment errors in multi-patterning can sometimes seem just as confusing. In Take Two of the Tech Talk videos on multi-patterning, David Abercrombie continues his discussion with Brian Bailey of Semiconductor Engineering about color assignment issues, and possible corrective actions. More often than not, a color assignment … Read More

David Abercrombie, design debugging, Calibre, IC Verification, Multi-Patterning, double patterning, IC Design

7 May, 2014

Shelly Stalnaker Depending on how well your company implements it, verification can be a quagmire that slows down your design delivery and creates frustration and conflict between teams, or a springboard that lets you deliver high-quality designs ahead of your competition. In a recent interview with Pradeep Chakraborty, our CEO, Wally Rhines, discusses the intricacies of design verification today, the biggest verification … Read More

Semiconductors, Mentor Graphics, SoC, 16 nm, 20nm, 14nm, Walden C. Rhines, IC Design, Wally Rhines, IC Verification, design verification

21 Mar, 2014

Shelly Stalnaker Photonics technology isn’t new, by any means, but what is new is the drive to leverage high-volume silicon-based semiconductor manufacturing foundries and processes to build chips that can create, sense, modulate, and transmit light. So says Michael White in his latest SiliconEdge column on Electronic Design. The biggest challenge in applying CMOS foundry processes to silicon photonics is creating … Read More

Foundry, IC Design, silicon photonics, waveguides, ic manufacturing, Michael White

20 Mar, 2014
Fabless/Foundry Ecosystem Solutions

3D Yoga

Posted by Shelly Stalnaker

Shelly Stalnaker

I practice yoga because it helps with my flexibility. Of course, that’s a little like saying that lighting a candle helps with heating your house, but I digress. The point is, flexibility is generally a good thing, and that holds true for 3D ICs and their test strategies. As discussed in the Electrical Engineering Journal, a flexible 3D test strategy that uses a “plug-and-play” architecture

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Silicon Test, Etienne Racine, IC test, 3DIC, Martin Keim, Ron Press, IEEE P1687, IJTAG

19 Mar, 2014

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

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

17 Mar, 2014

Shelly Stalnaker

Is design-for-test the forgotten stepchild of IC design? Not any more, and DFT engineers can, in large part, thank the automotive industry. The number of processors built into a vehicle is steadily increasing, as we all know (okay, maybe not that guy driving the 1969 Chevy Camaro). These chips have to meet very high standards for quality and reliability, which means the companies who make them need

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automotive test, Silicon Test, Cell-Aware ATPG, cell-aware, ATPG, logic BIST, Cell Aware Test, Ron Press, embedded compression, semiconductor test, iso26262

14 Mar, 2014

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

Shelly Stalnaker The semiconductor industry can (and does) argue about when extreme ultraviolet lithography will be ready for production. However, the actual dates are irrelevant to those engineers who must prepare OPC tools and processes for the EUV-specific effects that will have to be managed in manufacturing. They are busy now, evaluating the impact of such challenges as the distortion caused by EUV shadowing. In … Read More

SRAF, scanner, EUV shadowing, extreme ultraviolet, EUV, mask, OPC, ic manufacturing, Lithography

3 Mar, 2014

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

18 Feb, 2014

Shelly Stalnaker In Standards & Travels on EE Times, Bruce Swanson reminisces about a trip he took to Europe, long before there were cell phones, a common currency, or even the Internet. Dealing with different languages, different currencies, and different local customs took time, was a bit frustrating, and sometimes led to mistakes (WHERE is this train going?!). His experiences on that trip came to mind recently … Read More

IEEE standard, IJTAG, desgin for test, yield analysis, P1687, Silicon Test

14 Feb, 2014

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

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