5/28/2013 7:34 PM EDT
One of things I have learned is that you cannot understand everything associated with designing and making of semiconductors. The physics associated with the manufacturing process, while highly interesting, involves a lot more material science than I care to learn. But for others this is the core of their business and I learned a lot more about it when I spoke to David Fried, the CTO of Coventor.
Now, while I cannot understand many of the details behind their product, the rational for it is blazingly clear. Let me start in the land of functional verification. We do simulation for a number of reasons. The first is that it is too expensive to try something out in silicon before you have a reasonable confidence that it will work. The second is that once you have created the device, you have limited visibility into what is going on inside the chip. So, simulation serves both purposes. First you can ensure that you only go to silicon when you are confident enough that it will work and secondarily, the simulation provides you much more visibility into what is happening so that debug is a lot simpler.
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By Luke Collins
TECH DESIGN FORUM
Early adopters of advanced process technologies need to be able to model process variability for themselves, so they can understand how it is likely to impact their designs, according to David Fried, CTO of process simulation company Coventor.
“Too many early users of these processes have been burned by thinking that if a design is DRC-clean they will get what they want,” he said. With fabless companies, especially in the mobile sector, under pressure to start designing with new processes before they have been finalised, insights into the impact of process variability could enable defensive design techniques that would mitigate the effects of process variability issues.
Fried sees a number of uses for process modelling in this context. For example, a team working on a fast SERDES in an evolving process might need to know how the different ways in which the process could evolve would affect their design’s performance and noise margins. Physical IP vendors might want to understand how the evolution of process parameter distributions over time would impact their offerings. And manufacturing specialists could use the approach to analyse the way in which one layer influences the printability of another.
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Published on 05-30-2013 06:30 PM
Yes, it’s a pleasant surprise; it is Virtual Fabrication Platform, one of the new innovations in 2013. I was looking around for what kind of breakthrough technologies will be announced in DAC this year. And here I came across this new kind of innovative tool which can produce final virtual fabricated 3D structures after following all the complex steps of actual fabrication process based on process parameters and design data. Amazing, isn’t it?
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David Fried, CTO, Coventor, Inc.
It is difficult to imagine what the world of IC design would be like without tools that allow engineers to model, simulate, optimize and “virtually” replicate the millions of gates and transistors that comprise a modern chip. Indeed, it would be literally impossible to design these types of devices without sophisticated automation tools, higher-level abstraction methodologies and extremely accurate simulation, modeling and checking technologies.
To manage ever-increasing complexity, the electronic design automation (EDA) infrastructure has evolved into a highly organized hierarchy. At the lowest level of abstraction, compact models and SPICE serve circuit designers with analytical tools to design small circuits with high precision. At higher levels of abstraction, VHDL, Verilog and synthesis tools allow larger more complex designs to be assembled in virtual space. Routing tools allow massive monolithic products to be wired and analyzed virtually, while essentially ignoring the details of lower levels of this hierarchy. With this advanced EDA infrastructure in place, the design community is now creating massive multi-core processors with embedded memories and advanced I/O capabilities.
Coventor and its SEMulator 3D product was featured EE Times
Coventor and its SEMulator 3D product was featured as one of the ten technologies that will change the world in 2013, according to EE Times.
Electronic Engineering Journal
by Bryon Moyer
“I need a brush.”
What would you do given such instruction by someone to whom the response, “Can you be more specific, please?” would be considered inappropriate? It’s a hard request (or demand) to satisfy if you know absolutely nothing about his or her intent. It’s almost as bad as the “Bring me a rock” theory of management, except that that’s simply a way of ensuring that your employees are never quite sure if they’re doing the right thing, and so they remain nervous and stressed; putty in your hands. No, in this case, we’re just assuming poor communication skills, nothing Machiavellian.