SAN FRANCISCO Design-for-manufacturing (DFM) startup Takumi Technology Corp. Wednesday (May 31) announced a technology partnership with Toshiba Corp. by which Toshiba will apply Takumi's automated layout modification methodology to its mask data preparation design flow in advanced IC manufacturing.
The partnership also provides Takumi (Sunnyvale, Calif.) with valuable feedback and input on the development of the company's technology, Takumi said. Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"For a young technology company such as Takumi to receive such a firm endorsement by a company of Toshiba Corporation's stature is a sign that we are providing tangible and measurable value to our customers," said Adriaan Ligtenberg, Takumi president and CEO, in a statement. "It also indicates that our DFM methodologies in mask data preparation, defect analysis and layout modification can truly close the growing gap between design and manufacturing for sub-wavelength processes."
Toshiba is one of three companies that have been publicly named as Takumi customers. The other companies are fellow Japanese IDMs, NEC Corp. and Renesas Technology Corp. Takumi, which has received financial backing from Applied Materials Inc. and others, emerged from the shadows last month after operating in "stealth" mode since 2003.
Takumi works with customers to provide a specifically tailored solution that combines consultation services and proprietary technology. The company's technology is designed to identify "hot spots" layout-related problems that lead to failure, impacting yield. At the sub-nanometer level, the number of hot spots on a chip grows dramatically with lower process nodes.
"Using Takumi's hot spot fixing methodology we were able to automate our hot spot cleaning process and improve our turn around time substantially, in spite of the complexity and large data files associated with sub-65nm SoC technology," said S. Inoue, group manager of Toshiba's lithography process development group. "We were able to reduce the number of hot spots from over 47,000 to just 40 in 12 hours. Furthermore, Takumi's vendor-agnostic approach enabled us to maximize the usage of our existing EDA software, thereby protecting our current investment."