Common Platform Technology Alliance Qualifies Mentor's DFM Solution

Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT) announced that the Common Platform Technology alliance – IBM, Chartered and Samsung – have qualified the Calibre(R) suite of DFM tools used by designers to make physical designs less sensitive to yield loss due to particle contaminants and systematic process variability. The collaboration between Mentor Graphics and the Common Platform foundries provides an integrated DFM solution to address both random and systematic yield limiters for 65nm and 45nm processes.

“The Common Platform Alliance and Mentor Graphics have worked together to develop Calibre CAA and CFA production decks and qualify these flows for both our 65nm and 45nm process technologies,” said Walter Ng, senior director of platform alliances for Chartered. “As the first foundries to provide an integrated solution for CAA and CFA, we see the value in enabling designers to consider both issues in making physical design improvement decisions.”

The new DFM flow uses Mentor’s Calibre YieldAnalyzer to perform critical area analysis (CAA) on all base and interconnect layers of a design. CAA identifies those areas of an integrated circuit layout with higher than average vulnerability to random particle defects that can create a short or open in areas with close spacing of layout features. Calibre YieldAnalyzer also performs critical feature analysis (CFA), a flexible extension to traditional recommend rules analysis. YieldAnalyzer employs a model-based approach that automatically plugs layout measurements into yield-related equations to identify areas of a physical design that have higher sensitivity to variations across the manufacturing process window. YieldAnalyzer then presents the resulting data to designers in easy-to-understand charts and graphs. For example, CFA analysis identifies potential “hot spots” due to a variety of systematic issues that increase process variability, including lithography, CMP, resist stability, and etch process characteristics. YieldAnalyzer provides specific guidance to help the designer quickly locate and prioritize these hot spots and determine what layout changes will result in the greatest yield improvement.

Analysis approaches that consider these effects in isolation can report misleading results and direct designers to make layout modifications that appear to improve manufacturability, but are found to reduce it in the context of a broader set of yield limiters. By integrating random (CAA) and systematic (CFA) process analysis, the Calibre nm Platform accounts for the combined impact of these effects on design manufacturability and enables designers to prioritize and guide manufacturability improvement in light of a wide spectrum of yield limiters.

Calibre YieldAnalyzer’s model-based CAA/CFA methodology complements the Calibre LFD(TM) litho-friendly design solution qualified for Common Platform customers last year. Calibre LFD provides the ability to run simulations to see how a layout will print under a particular lithographic process window. Calibre LFD allows designers to achieve an “LFD clean” as well as a “DRC clean” sign-off to ensure high yields for advanced process nodes.

“Mentor is continuing to extend the Calibre nm Platform to address all the needs of physical verification, DFM and post-tapeout physical design improvement,” said Joe Sawicki, vice president and general manager, Design to Silicon Division, Mentor Graphics. “We are investing heavily to ensure that our platform and tools are tightly integrated with each other and all major design environments, so users can have the flexibility to create optimum DFM flows while protecting their existing EDA investment.”

About Mentor Graphics
Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT) is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products, consulting services and award-winning support for the world’s most successful electronics and semiconductor companies. Established in 1981, the company reported revenues over the last 12 months of about $800 million and employs approximately 4,250 people worldwide. Corporate headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Road, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-7777.

Mentor Graphics and Calibre are registered trademarks of Mentor Graphics Corporation.