Samsung taps Mentor tools for higher yielding close-loop DFM

By Paul Dempsey |  1 Comment  |  Posted: October 6, 2015
Topics/Categories: Conferences, Design to Silicon, Digital/analog implementation, Blog - EDA, - Tested Component to System  |  Tags: , , , , ,  | Organizations: ,

Samsung and Mentor Graphics have collaborated to ‘close the loop’ on design for manufacturing (DFM) by feeding design data from existing designs back into PDKs for new ones.

Samsung has introduced two failure prediction and analysis design flow solutions, PRISM and FLARE, based on data derived from Mentor tools within the Calibre DFM and Tessent test and diagnosis suites.

The Samsung software has already been used on both internal and external foundry projects.

Combined yield improvements ranging from around 3.5% to the low teens have been seen but equally important, the tools automate and pre-empt much of the yield learning that takes place at first silicon, allowing for a faster ramp to optimum production.

By continuing to refine the feedback loop, further incremental improvements will be made.

PRISM – Pattern Recognition and Identity Scoring Method – uses the capabilities of Calibre Pattern Matching and Calibre LFD. The Mentor tools generate libraries of successful and unsuccessful patterns from earlier designs. These can then be used by PRISM to score the likely manufacturing performance before manufacturing and identify hotspots.

So, for example, ‘weak’ patterns that have repeatedly led to voids, bridging, pinch-off or via overlaps can be highlighted and changed before files are passed to manufacturing.

FLARE – Failure anaLysis with Acknowledge and Recommended hotspot Exploration – adds test data gathered by Tessent software to the offering by further assessing a design’s vulnerability to both systematic and random defects based upon prior analysis.

The essence of the technique lies largely in detecting a greater potential range of failures and allowing for their optimization before full DFM preparation of the design file begins at manufacturing. PRISM and FLARE have also helped Samsung improve the process margin as well as raising yield.

PRISM is another indication of the increasing importance of patterns and matching within flows. It is unlikely that designers will – or indeed could – be forced to change current practices to design with patterns themselves, but their ‘invisible’ background use to suggest traditionally implemented optimizations is likely to grow.

The new tools were publicly discussed at the recent Mentor Forum in Shanghai, China, and already available from Samsung’s foundry operations. For details on other upcoming Mentor events, click here.


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