A group of companies are to collaborate on improving design for mask manufacturing (DFMM) by breaking the barriers that have traditionally separated IC designers from mask shop engineers. Under Crystal, a European collaborative R&D program sponsored by the Cluster for Application and Technology Research in Europe on NanoElectronics (CATRENE), Satin IP Technologies SAS, Toppan Photomasks France SAS and XYALIS SaRL will also work to make mask manufacturing a more efficient and less iterative process.
"Designing chips so that photomasks can be manufactured more easily is a complex challenge that cannot be solved without tight collaboration between chip design teams, semiconductor fabs, mask shops and EDA vendors," said Michel Tissier, European technology integration director at Toppan Photomasks France and head of the Crystal program." By making these different groups work with Satin IP's VIP Lane on real manufacturing data, Crystal is expected to help improve design consistency, on-time delivery and the cost of photomask design."
The Crystal program was started in January 2008. An updated prototype mask data preparation tool will be shown at DAC.