Silicon Canvas Adds DFM Automation to Laker IC Design Tools

Silicon Canvas, developer of the Laker suite of high-performance tools for custom IC design, announced the rollout of the first automated DFM (Design for Manufacturability) features designed for designers. Laker, the pioneer of Controllable Automation in custom design now offers built-in DFM features that need no scripting and support advanced design requirements such as multiple rule sets; conditional rules; recommended rules; discrete gate spacing; minimum area rules; routing jog avoidance; and more. DFM rules are supported in Laker’s patented M-cell(TM) device generator; during physical layout; and during placement and routing, as appropriate. Additional DFM rules are being developed on an on-going basis and will be rolled out as they become available.

Recommended design rules for yield and manufacturability improvement became pervasive as far back as the 250nm node. Typically, recommended rules suggest the use of relaxed, more manufacturable rules such as “fat metal” rules, poly endcap enlargement, metal line-end extensions, and via doubling in yield-limited areas and critical paths, or just for extra process margin wherever there is available space. In advanced sub-100nm technologies, recommended rules have become DFM and “DSM” (Deep Sub-Micron) rules and many have become mandatory in order to avoid such things as pitch-induced CD variation caused by the effects of off-axis illumination and the optical properties of phase-shift masks (PSM). At the same time, custom IC design is becoming increasingly automated to the extent that recommended rules are difficult to implement if not built into the core automation. Many recommended and DFM rules tend to presume a level of manual intervention during layout that most advanced design tools do not require.

“Silicon Canvas was the first to offer real time DRC and LVS, and correct-by-construction automation in an advanced design platform and our new DFM-automation features are a logical progression for us,” said Dr. Hau-Yung Chen, President and co-founder of Silicon Canvas. “At Silicon Canvas, we say that Laker is Designed for Designerssm because we have a single-minded focus on making the designer’s task easier in order to free their minds for genuine innovation.”

In the past, physical layout in GDSII form (often with various “marking” layers), adequately communicated the design intent and the design rule document along with simulation models represented the “contract” offered by Manufacturing for manufacturing results. In deep submicron processes, the manufacturing result is highly dependent on the layout in the context of its environment. Without DFM rules, very complex process and lithography simulation models are required in order to determine what the fab can manufacture in a particular context, but it is not intuitively obvious how the designer needs to react to any simulated result. When systematically implemented, DFM rules can have a substantial impact in the reduction of so-called ‘hot-spots’ by offering a larger process window and creating DFM-friendly layout. To round out the Laker DFM portfolio, Silicon Canvas also offers simulation-based analysis and correction tools through seamless integrations with leading DFM tools from companies like ClearShape, Anchor Semiconductor, and Aprio.

“In the end, manufacturability can only be achieved when the tools are available for the designer to convey the design intent or ‘constraints’ to Manufacturing and for Manufacturing to communicate the process constraints to Design,” said Richard Morse, Director of Marketing for Silicon Canvas. “Laker’s DDL Design-driven flow, announced last year at DAC, communicates design constraints downstream, and Laker’s new DFM-automation passes manufacturing constraints seamlessly upstream into the design.”
Laker’s DFM-automation features are immediately available at no additional cost to all Laker L2 and L3 license holders with current maintenance or TBL (term based license) agreements by upgrading to versions 3.2 and higher.

About Laker
The Laker design platform addresses the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s analog, mixed signal and large, complex IC, ASIC, and SoC designs. Laker has long been a recognized reference standard for full custom layout solutions, with more than 250 companies worldwide adopting it for designs down to 45nm. Built-in Controllable Automation technology on top of unparalleled interoperability delivers a streamlined design work flow, from schematic to layout realization and beyond. Its patented Magic Cell(TM), Rule-Driven, DDL(TM) (Design-Driven Layout), and Controllable Automation technologies deliver substantial productivity gains over existing methodologies.

About Silicon Canvas
Silicon Canvas, Inc. a privately held California corporation was founded in 2001 by Dr. Hau-Yung Chen and other EDA veterans with extensive design and EDA experience. Silicon Canvas is the technology leader for full custom design solutions. The company develops the Laker suite of tools – a completely new technology founded on best practices in computer software engineering with a clear focus on nanometer design requirements for analog, mixed signal, large complex IC’s, ASSP, SoC, test key designs and flat panel layout. Silicon Canvas’ toolsets bring more automation and higher performance capabilities to any design project which requires a more effective full custom layout solution. Customer applications include processors, computing systems, networking, telecommunication, and graphics ICs.

Silicon Canvas and Laker are registered trademarks of Silicon Canvas, Inc.