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New Product at SPIE 06: Aprio offers design-aware manufacturing OPC tool to designers

20 February 2006 | By Mark Osborne | Product Briefings > Lithography

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Outline: Aprio Technologies has launched Halo-iOPC, the company's first product with features intended for both the design and manufacturing communities. Halo-iOPC, a superset of Aprio's optical proximity correction (OPC) product, is the first of its second-phase products that begin to enable better collaboration between design and manufacturing.

In the IC industry today, a design engineer, thinking hierarchically and incrementally, places hundreds of millions of polygons in a layout, but does not have meaningful access to what they will look like in silicon on a wafer. On the other hand, a manufacturer thinks in terms of geometric shapes and processes information flat and sequentially. With the inherent challenges of feature sizes shrinking to the 65nm-45nm levels, manufacturing and design need tools that enable better communication. Designers can no longer rely on design rules to assure manufacturability. Even with distributed processing, the IC industry needs new OPC technologies to overcome extreme run times and achieve better accuracy at the 65nm-45nm levels. Manufacturers can no longer afford to run the lengthy full-chip OPC, verify, and re-OPC loops required to achieve OPC closure at this level of technology. Adding to the challenge, cell libraries are typically characterized using the original layout, assuming that a fab will replicate drawn features within certain tolerances.

Solution: The DFM View created by Aprio, claims to make it possible to characterize pre-OPC'd cells more accurately by modeling actual silicon images. With Halo-iOPC, the industry's first "incremental" and fully hierarchical OPC tool, designers will be able to receive more accurate models and the confidence that the OPC data in the cells will be used exactly as described in the final design. More accurate models, of course, offer designers more degrees of freedom to achieve timing closure faster and increase the likelihood of first-pass silicon success.

Applications: OPC

Platform: Halo tools run on Solaris 32-b and 64-b, Linux 32-b and 64-b, Linux cluster.

Availability: Halo suite configurations start from $300,000 and are available February 2006 onwards.

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