SAN FRANCISCO Design-for-manufacturing (DFM) provider Aprio Technologies Inc. said Thursday (May 26) that it would demonstrate its manufacturing-aware design technology at next month's Design Automation Conference (DAC) in Anaheim, Calif.
Aprio's design tools, planned for general release in December, are designed to complement the company's design-aware manufacturing tools, Halo-OPC, Halo-Sim and Halo-Cal.
Aprio's DFM technology is based on what the company calls the Trinity data model, made up of Aprio's manufacturing-aware design tools, design-aware manufacturing tools and a manufacturing-aware intellectual property (IP) and design database. According to Aprio, this model allows design intents to pass to manufacturing and manufacturing impacts to be considered early in the design phase, two things that the company considers essential to overcoming DFM challenges.
A key part of Aprio's approach is to break up optical proximity correction (OPC) into smaller, more manageable pieces and then reuse the results to build larger solutions. According to Aprio, this "incremental OPC" technology can slash reticle enhancement turnaround timeproviding results that are more than 10 times faster for full-chip OPC and more than 30 times faster for re-spin OPC.
Under Aprio's incremental approach, RET implementation is done at the block-level of a design. Hierarchical assembly of a larger design is done by stitching together these blocks post-verification.
According to Randy Smith, vice president of marketing and sales for Aprio, the company is "very confident" that its technology can provide this magnitude of RET efficiency based on alpha work that the company did with NEC Electronics last year. Smith added that it is likely that incremental OPC could make RET implementation much more than 10 times for some designs.
In addition to turnaround time improvement, Smith said, Aprio's incremental OPC technology yields additional benefits such as more accurate cell-level "as-printed" characterization that incorporates manufacturing effects.
"Once you have this incremental capability, a lot of other flows become possible that were not available before," Smith said.
Aprio also announced Thursday that four EDA companies are the initial members of the company's "Winners Circle" partner program. Aprio said the four companies and other pending members would collaborate with Aprio on the company's DFM technology.
Aprio said it expects the initial members of the partner programOEA International, Silicon Canvas, Silicon Navigator and Tool Corp.to be joined by other EDA vendors, IP providers, semiconductor equipment manufacturers, silicon foundries and technology distributors in coming months.
Smith said that building a collaborative effort is essential to solving DFM challenges. "We need to find like-minded companies who see the solution the way that we do," he said.