TSMC, Mentor Graphics, Synopsys Donate iDRC Specification to Si2

Silicon Integration Initiative (Si2) announced that TSMC has donated iDRC, a vendor-neutral language for describing IC design rules, for consideration as an open industry standard. iDRC is an open specification that makes it possible for TSMC and its customers to create physical verification design kits that allow easier support of physical verification products from different EDA vendors. TSMC has donated the iDRC specification to Si2, the organization of industry-leading silicon systems and EDA companies, on behalf of TSMC and its co-development partners, Mentor Graphics, and Synopsys.

This donation culminates over two years of collaborative effort by the three companies to create an EDA vendor independent DRC mechanism that will enable faster adoption of vendor optimizations. To further support this effort, Mentor will be providing an architectural manual and sample implementations. Synopsys has agreed to grant a RAND license for a related patent to Si2. Mentor and Synopsys will also be members of the Si2 committees that will help drive the adoption of this standard.

“The iDRC specification benefits our customers by accelerating the delivery of physical verification decks from TSMC, and once adopted as a standard, from other foundries as well,” said ST Juang, senior director of EDA and design service marketing at TSMC. “iDRC also enables users to more easily create design rules for new requirements or special situations, while allowing individual EDA companies to implement rules in a manner that is optimized for their specific software. We’ve worked closely with Mentor and Synopsys to develop and validate iDRC architecture and decks for our most advanced processes. It was always our intent to donate this capability to the industry, and now that the concept is validated we are pleased to make this donation to Si2.”

“Our collaboration with TSMC on the definition of iDRC helps our mutual customers to obtain optimized design kits faster. By segmenting out process definitions from the software-specific implementations, iDRC simplifies the adoption of performance optimizations, allowing our joint customers to realize better performance from the Calibre platform,” said Joseph Sawicki, vice president and general manager for the Design-to-Silicon division at Mentor Graphics. “The donation of iDRC to the industry is another validation of Mentor’s support for open industry standards.”

“The collaboration with TSMC to transition from a vendor-specific to an iDRC-based interoperable specification will ensure timely distribution of optimized technology files. Function-based, vendor-independent DRC implementation eliminates qualification and consistency barriers, clearing the way to efficiently bring In-Design physical verification with IC Validator to our common customers,” said Antun Domic, senior vice president and general manager of Synopsys’ Implementation Group. “In support of open industry standards, we endorse this donation of iDRC to Si2.

“We are very excited about the donation of iDRC and the associated patent license from Synopsys for consideration as part of OpenDFM, not only as a specification, but also as a proven production solution,” said Steven Schulz, president and CEO of Si2. “iDRC is consistent with the Si2 Design for Manufacturing Coalition’s (DFMC) OpenDFM vision, and is a great example of meeting industry challenges with open solutions developed through the collaboration of Si2′s member companies. Si2 will be reviewing the donation with Si2 members with the goal of formal acceptance within 30 days.”

About iDRC
iDRC was initiated by TSMC and developed as a joint project with Mentor Graphics and Synopsys. The goal of the iDRC effort was to separate the language for creating physical verification decks into two layers — an upper rule definition layer that captures the requirements embodied in a manufacturing process design rule manual, and a lower implementation layer that defines the procedures used to perform the checks, which are specific to each physical verification tool. Design rules expressed in iDRC are tool independent, but the underlying implementation can be optimized by the vendors to deliver the best accuracy and performance, without requiring end users to have specialized knowledge of tool performance tuning. iDRC is based on the open source TCL language, extended with specialized functions for IC design rule checking.

About Si2
Si2 is the largest organization of industry-leading semiconductor, systems, EDA and manufacturing companies focused on the development and adoption of standards to improve the way integrated circuits are designed and manufactured, in order to speed time-to market, reduce costs, and meet the challenges of sub-micron design. Now in its 22nd year, Si2 is uniquely positioned to enable timely collaboration through dedicated staff and a strong implementation focus driven by its member companies. Si2 represents nearly 100 companies involved in all parts of the silicon supply chain throughout the world.