STARC Selects Blaze DFM for 65nm Lithography Simulation, Analysis

Blaze DFM, the electrical DFM company, has been chosen by the Semiconductor Technology Academic Research Center (STARC) to provide lithography simulation and analysis software that will be integrated into the STARCAD-CEL (Certified Engineering Linkage, one step ahead of DFM) reference design flow. With this methodology, STARC – Japan’s leading semiconductor technology research organization supported by Japanese IDMs – is establishing a process-friendly and low-power reference flow that strives to eliminate manufacturing uncertainty in sub-65nm system LSI designs.

As part of the selection process, STARC performed a rigorous three month evaluation of Blaze Halo using three 65nm designs. Halo offers both signoff accuracy and fast turnaround due to its incremental architecture. STARC engineers evaluated Halo using multiple rule sets and process windows to identify lithographic errors, or “hotspots”, on all metal and via layers. They also measured the scalability of Halo using different configurations of one, two, four, eight, 16, and 27 processors.

“For many of our member companies, it is critical to be able to accurately predict the photolithographic printability of their most advanced designs,” said Nobuyuki Nishiguchi, vice-president and general manager of Development Dept.-1 at STARC. “The importance of accuracy cannot be over-stated when choosing a lithography analysis solution. Blaze Halo provides fast, accurate lithographic variability analysis while being extremely scalable and robust under numerous process settings, hotspot rule sets, and CPU configurations.”

The silicon image representation produced by Halo is composed of a collection of manufacturing-centric variants of the physical integrated circuit design, including the original layout, a version of the layout as printed in silicon, and a series of error vectors that identify potential lithographic hotspots.

Halo is plug-compatible with existing standard EDA design flows. By utilizing an accurate physical representation of the design as printed in silicon, this approach facilitates improvements in yield, predictability, and performance using existing design tools.

“STARC’s membership includes all of the major semiconductor companies in Japan, so their endorsement of Halo is of great strategic significance,” said Jacob Jacobsson, president and CEO at Blaze. “STARC identifies and qualifies new technologies for advanced silicon processes and, as part of their reference flow, Halo becomes the lithography analysis solution of choice for their members.”

Halo is the second Blaze product that has been qualified by STARC. Earlier this year, STARC selected Blaze MO leakage power optimization software for the STARCAD-CEL reference flow.

About Blaze DFM
Blaze DFM provides software solutions to fabless semiconductor companies, integrated device manufacturers, and silicon foundries. Blaze products give IC designers greater control over manufacturing variability, improving yield and shortening time to volume production. Blaze DFM, Inc., 1275 Orleans Drive, Sunnyvale, CA 94089, 408.470.4900