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Reducing Post-Placement Leakage With Stress-Enhanced Fill Cells


By Valeriy Sukharev, Jun-Ho Choy, Armen Kteyan and Henrik Hovsepyan As downward scaling of transistors continues, optimizing power consumption for mobile devices is a major concern. Power consumption consists of two components: dynamic and static. Dynamic (active) power is used while the chip is performing various functions, while static (leakage) power is consumed by leakage current (Figure... » read more

When And How Should I Color My DP layout?


Designers working with advanced process technologies that require double patterning often find themselves puzzling over the best way to setup or optimize their design flows to ensure their layouts can be decomposed without time-wasting mistakes. Because manual coloring can be challenging even for experienced engineers, many prefer to use automated coloring solutions. But when is the best time a... » read more

Automated Power Model Verification For Analog IPs


By Sierene Aymen and Hartmut Marquardt Creating macro power models for analog intellectual property (IP) blocks is essential to enable the chip assembly group to effectively integrate these blocks within their place and route environment. These macro models, which define power domains, identify IP ports as signal, power, ground, or trivial ports, and describe the associations of signal pins ... » read more

Resetting Expectations On Multi-Patterning Decomposition And Checking


As I said in Part 1 of this topic, it never ceases to amaze me how much confusion and misunderstanding there is when it comes to multi-patterning (MP) decomposition and checking. That entire first article only focused on the typical subjects I’ve had to discuss with customers regarding double-patterning (DP). I have to tell you that with the deployment of triple-patterning (TP) and quadruple-... » read more

You’re Not Alone


All too often we get caught up in our own work and our own issues, thinking no one else could possibly be having as much trouble as we are. The reality is that many, if not most, of the problems and challenges in IC verification are not unique to one design, one team, or one person. The natural reluctance of people to admit they are struggling with some aspect of their job often keeps them from... » read more

Resetting Expectations On Multi-Patterning Decomposition And Checking


It never ceases to amaze me how much confusion and misunderstanding there is when it comes to multi-patterning (MP) decomposition and checking. I sometimes forget just how new a topic it is in our industry. Because of this short-lived history, and the limited time designers have had to acquire any detailed understanding of its complexity, there appears to be some serious disconnect in expectati... » read more

Déjà Vu For CMP Modeling?


One definition of design for manufacturing (DFM) is providing knowledge about the impact of the manufacturing process on a design layout to the designers, so they can use that information to improve the robustness, reliability, or yield of their design before tapeout. Essentially, DFM is about designers taking ownership of the full “lifecycle” of a design, and going beyond the required desi... » read more

Case Studies in P&R Double-Patterning Debug


In my last article, we looked at some case studies of the unique types of issues related to double patterning (DP) that place and route (P&R) and chip finishing engineers have to deal with. I’ve got some more interesting case studies to show you this time. In modern P&R designs, the metal routes on a particular layer are unidirectional (or at least primarily unidirectional). Long p... » read more

The Fill Ecosystem Evolves Again


Several years ago, we wrote about the ecosystem of fill, and how 20nm technology required a much tighter relationship between the foundry, designers and EDA vendors. While the players remain the same, there have been some interesting shifts in fill techniques and usage as designers move to even-smaller technologies. What continues with each node is the additional complexity of the design flo... » read more

Case Studies In Double-Patterning Debug


Double patterning (DP) impacts just about every part of the design and manufacturing flows. However, the kinds of issues you encounter, the way they manifest themselves, and the ideal way to address them may be very different in different parts of these flows. I feel like I have spent a lot of time the last six months or so working with place and route (P&R) and chip finishing engineers on DP i... » read more

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