ST Selects Mentor Graphics Calibre LFD for Litho Variability Analysis

Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT) announced that STMicroelectronics has selected the Mentor Graphics Calibre® DFM (design for manufacturing) platform with the Calibre LFD[tm] (Litho-Friendly-Design) system for its Litho Variability Analysis solution aimed at controlling manufacturing variability at 65 nanometer (nm) and beyond. The announcement follows an extensive evaluation of commercially available solutions by STMicroelectronics based on accuracy, speed and ability to integrate with existing design flows. This decision builds on the existing relationship between STMicroelectronics and Mentor, which started with the use of Calibre OPC tools at 130nm, and has continued for all following nodes, including 45nm.

“To analyze variability effectively, the process models need to be very accurate. The models used by the Calibre LFD solution have been measured and proven accurate on silicon for 65nm and 45nm generations,” said Joel Hartmann, Silicon Technology Development Director at STMicroelectronics. “In addition, the Calibre solution makes it easy to re-calibrate the models when parameters change during process ramp-up.”

The Calibre DFM platform is a comprehensive and tightly-integrated flow that provides better control of manufacturing variability. It provides accurate modeling of how the lithographic process responds to variations in exposure, defocusing, resolution enhancement technology (RET) processing, and etch characteristics and is fully integrated with the Calibre LVS (Layout vs. Schematic) component, allowing critical device dimensions to be extracted based on LFD-modeled contour geometries. The resulting device parameters, which reflect actual as-built device shapes, can then be plugged into a SPICE model to produce an accurate timing simulation of how the real device will work.

“STMicroelectronics selected Calibre LFD for its advanced DFM variability solution because accurate prediction of litho variations over the process window is a critical factor in our advanced DFM flow,” said Philippe Magarshack, STMicroelectronics Technology R&D Group Vice President and Central CAD and Design Solutions General Manager. “Calibre LFD provides an optimum combination of speed and high accuracy, plus excellent integration with the rest of our Calibre design flow.”

With the verified accuracy provided by the Calibre LFD system, customers like STMicroelectronics can be confident that detected litho hotspots are real systematic yield limiters and not merely “false positives,” and that device parameters reflect expected manufacturing results, not idealized values. Designers can then proceed with layout enhancements knowing their efforts will have a real impact on manufacturing yield. Tight integration with the Mentor Graphics Olympus-SoC[tm] place-and-route system also allows automatic litho fixing during design creation, making the overall solution very efficient.

The Calibre LFD solution is being made available as part of the STMicroelectronics certified design kit to its designers worldwide.
“We are very pleased with the results of our two-year collaboration with STMicroelectronics,” said Joseph Sawicki, vice president and general manager of the Design-to-Silicon division at Mentor Graphics. “Proving our DFM solution in production on advanced IC designs at leading semiconductor companies is what really sets Mentor apart in the market.”

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 over $850 million and employs approximately 4,300 people worldwide. Corporate headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Road, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-7777.