DFM

June 1, 2009

Computational scaling: implications for design

The article presents the context for the use of computation scaling (CS) to eke out more from existing lithography tools until next-generation techniques are finally introduced. It discusses the critical elements in the CS ecosystem developed by IBM and partners to overcome roadblocks to optical scaling that demand the use of non-traditional techniques for the […]

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May 1, 2009

The art of low-power physical design

The architectures that underpin today’s traditional place-and-route tools are showing their age, largely because their static timing analysis engines cannot handle more than two mode/corner scenarios. Thus limited, the software struggles to effectively implement low-power design techniques beyond such established concepts as clock gating and multiple threshold voltages. Designers run into difficulties when trying to […]

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May 1, 2009

Access all areas

Since 130nm, you have either had an innovative approach to low-power design, or you have not had a business. From that node onwards, low-power requirements began to match raw performance in driving the R&D agenda. Where the cutting edge was once defined by communications infrastructure and programmable logic, consumer electronics (CE) started to become ever […]

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March 1, 2009

Chemical mechanical polish: the enabling technology

Chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) has traditionally been considered an enabling technology. It was first used in the early 1990s for BEOL metallization to replanarize the wafer substrate thus enabling advanced lithography, which was becoming ever more sensitive to wafer surface topography. Subsequent uses of CMP included density scaling via shallow trench isolation and interconnect formation […]

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December 1, 2008

From GDSII to Oasis

The Oasis file format is intended as the long-term successor to GDSII, which is now 30 years old. However, even though the first specification for Oasis was released in 2004, there is still a great deal of confusion and ignorance surrounding the standard. The article looks at the background of Oasis’ development, identifies its strengths […]

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December 1, 2008

No silicon leapfrog

Andre Geim When you were young, did you enjoy bouncing around on a trampoline? If so, try this for size. Imagine a membrane about 275 miles long, one mile deep and an average of 10 miles wide. These dimensions matter. Because this sheet of material covers the entire Grand Canyon—and before you go bouncing on […]

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June 1, 2008

STIX to the task

Before 2001’s historic downturn, the semiconductor industry was primarily driven by the corporate and enterprise markets. This bias led to a somewhat predictable three-year business cycle of peaks and troughs. Corporate buying practices, technology requirements and IT replacement policies are all relatively easy to predict—right down to the nature of the semiconductors that underpin the […]

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June 1, 2008

Migration of the Cell Broadband Engine to 45nm SOI

The paper describes some of the main challenges in the latest process shrink for the Cell Broadband Engine, developed jointly by IBM, Sony and Toshiba. The authors show how the move from a 65nm to a 45nm SOI process was achieved by concentrating on four primary goals: automating the migration; setting a 30% power reduction […]

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June 1, 2008

Multi-corner multi-mode signal integrity optimization

Signal integrity (SI) is an ever-growing problem as more interconnect effects and fast clocks increase the chances of crosstalk noise and glitches as well as unexpected signal delays. There has been a significant increase in SI-related timing violations due to the increasing influence of lateral wire capacitance in designs at 65 and 45nm. A fast-increasing […]

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March 1, 2008

Towards an infrastructure for profitable DFM

The real objective of design for manufacturability (DFM) is to improve a product’s profitability and manufacturing predictability for its market window and unit volume by optimizing tradeoffs between design costs and manufacturing improvements according to a holistic, lifetime view of the product. Current DFM practice often falls far short of that goal. For instance, the […]

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