IPL Alliance Debuts Open Standard for Interoperable Process Design Kits

The Interoperable PDK Libraries (IPL) Alliance announced the release of the semiconductor industry’s first open standard for interoperable Process Design Kits (iPDKs). This release is a major accomplishment achieved through the collaboration of IPL Alliance member companies. Semiconductor foundries and integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) can use this standard to build a single iPDK that works with multiple OpenAccess-based custom design tools, reducing development costs and the need to support vendor-specific PDKs.

Electronic design automation (EDA) vendors can use this standard to validate that their tools work with the iPDKs delivered by the foundries and IDMs. IPL 1.0 reference kit includes an iPDK developer’s guide, a sample 90nm reference iPDK, a reference design and a user guide. Ciranova, SpringSoft, Synopsys and TSMC were major contributors to the release and validation of IPL 1.0.

A PDK is a comprehensive set of foundry-verified data files including schematic symbols, component descriptions, parameterized cells (PCells), and callbacks used in a complete analog and mixed signal design flow. In the past, each foundry had to create specialized PDKs for each and every EDA vendor. In contrast, using IPL 1.0, PDK development teams need to only develop a single PDK for each process node, reducing development costs, shortening delivery schedules and providing designers earlier access to new advanced process technologies across multiple tools.

Synopsys (Nasdaq: SNPS) was the lead developer of the sample 90 nanometer (nm) reference iPDK and reference design included in IPL 1.0. This kit was validated in multiple custom design flows and tools by IPL Alliance members. The validation process covered a comprehensive set of tests including schematic capture, circuit simulation, layout, physical verification and extraction.

“As the first foundry member of the IPL Alliance, TSMC has collaborated from very early stages with several IPL Alliance members to specify, develop, validate, and deliver the first foundry-specific 65nm iPDK that is interoperable between several custom EDA platforms,” said Tom Quan, deputy director of design methodology and service marketing at TSMC. “TSMC’s commitment and leadership in fostering collaboration among the IPL Alliance members played a vital role in achieving this significant IPL 1.0 release milestone. With the open and interoperable iPDK format, we expect to realize substantial cost savings in the development and support of TSMC iPDKs, while delivering greater choice and advanced design features to our end customers.”

IPL 1.0 reference kit is available for immediate, free download under the open source licensing agreement at IPL Alliance web site. For more information please contact info@iplnow.com

About the IPL Alliance
The IPL (Interoperable PDK Libraries) Alliance is an industry organization established to develop an interoperable eco-system for custom design by creating and promoting interoperable PDK standards. Current IPL Alliance members include Applied Wave Research (AWR), Agilent Technologies, Ciranova, Helic, JEDAT, LFoundry, Magma Design Automation, Mephisto Design Automation, Micro Magic, Parallel Engines, Pyxis, SpringSoft, SynCira, Synopsys, TowerJazz, TSMC and Virage Logic. Mentor Graphics and Pulsic are supporting members.