LONDON Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited and e-Shuttle, Inc. have adopted the design for e-beam technology from design and software company DS2 to deliver cost and time reductions for producing prototypes, derivatives and ICs.
The collaboration is starting with a 65-nm low power library to create test silicon to refine and validate DFEB technology for the 65-nm, 40-nm and below nodes.
e-Shuttle (Kawasaki, Japan), a joint venture between FML and Advantest Corporation that was formed in November 2006, will produce test chips using D2S' DFEB design and software and FML's standard cell libraries.
The test chips will be manufactured using Advantest's F3000 e-beam direct-write (EBDW) lithography equipment, which is already in operation at e-Shuttle.
The companies say the joint venture means Fujitsu will be able to manufacture ICs faster and more cost-effectively than is possible with conventional e-beam direct lithography technologies.
Yoji Hino, corporate executive vice president of Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited, said: "We expect to see the benefits of this collaboration, in terms of reduced costs and time savings, starting in 2009. This design-to-manufacturing collaboration will facilitate a unique capability for virtually maskless ICs that will increase design starts."
Aki Fujimura, founder and CEO of D2S (San Jose, Calif.), added: "The increasing cost of semiconductor masks is making low-volume production of custom ICs economically unfeasible yet, in aggregate, this segment can represent as much volume as the high-volume segment.
"This long tail of the custom IC business can be enabled through a virtually maskless DFEB technology. By not requiring the development of any revolutionary new hardware technologies, this design and software approach represents a low-risk, low-cost path to a new production paradigm."
E-Shuttle sheds light on maskless litho