Imec, Coventor partner to drive advanced CMOS process development through virtual fabrication

Imec researchers using Coventor’s SEMulator3D platform to model and optimize 7nm manufacturing technology

LEUVEN, Belgium & CARY, North Carolina – October 28, 2014 – Belgian nanoelectronics research center imec has announced a joint development project with Coventor, a leading supplier of semiconductor process development tools. The collaboration will enable faster and more optimized development of advanced manufacturing technology in the 3D device architecture era, extending down to imec’s 10- and 7-nanometer (nm) processes.

To adopt the 7nm node, the industry needs to select the optimal layout, as well as optimize process step performance and control methodology. Using Coventor’s SEMulator3D platform, engineers from imec and Coventor are working together to reduce silicon learning cycles and development costs by down selecting the options for development of next-generation manufacturing technologies. The SEMulator3D platform is an integrated set of modeling tools with enhanced visibility, accuracy and performance that enables engineers to interactively model and simulate a wide range of manufacturing effects in software before committing to expensive test chips.

At imec, process and integration experts have connected optical lithography simulations with Coventor’s SEMulator3D virtual fabrication platform to explore FinFET scaling to the 7nm node and to compare the process window marginalities in several dense SRAM designs using Spacer Assisted Quadruple Patterning and either multiple immersion or EUV patterning cut/keep solutions. Moreover, a Spacer-Assisted Quad Patterning scheme for 7nm dense interconnect was devised using SEMulator3D, and process window marginalities for an immersion based multiple block patterning solution were analyzed. Additional collaboration will focus on the predictive modeling of Directed Self-Assembly for advanced patterning.

An Steegen, senior vice president process technology at imec said: “A virtual fabrication platform enables us to tie together integrated processing before all of the individual processes are available. The SEMulator3D tool gives us the visibility and accuracy to do that, and an integrated platform to bring together all the various elements of advanced processing before moving on to actual silicon.”

“Imec is the premier semiconductor research center, and this collaboration allows us to synchronize our modeling roadmap with one of the industry’s most advanced process roadmaps, as well as to speed the development of their 10nm and 7nm technology,” said David Fried, Chief Technical Officer, Semiconductor, at Coventor. “Working together with imec on novel integration schemes, designing SEMulator3D-specific structures for imec’s testsites, and then calibrating advanced models to imec’s wafer processing is an extremely effective and valuable way for Coventor to optimize our virtual fabrication platform for emerging market requirements.”

This press release can be downloaded at

About imec
Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics and photovoltaics. Imec leverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. Imec delivers industry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-tech environment, its international top talent is committed to providing the building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in the Netherlands, Taiwan, US, China, India and Japan. Its staff of over 2,080 people includes more than 670 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2013, imec’s revenue (P&L) totaled 332 million euro. Further information on imec can be found at Stay up to date about what’s happening at imec with the monthly imec magazine, available for tablets and smartphones (as an app for iOS and Android), or via the website
Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a “stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.)and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.) and imec India (Imec India Private Limited).

About Coventor
Coventor, Inc. is the market leader in automated design solutions for developing semiconductor process technology, as well as micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). Coventor serves a worldwide customer base of integrated device manufacturers, memory suppliers, fabless design houses, independent foundries, and R&D organizations. Its SEMulator3D modeling and analysis platform is used for fast and accurate ‘virtual fabrication’ of advanced manufacturing processes, allowing engineers to understand manufacturing effects early in the development process and reduce time-consuming and costly silicon learning cycles. Its MEMS design solutions are used to develop MEMS-based products for automotive, aerospace, industrial, defense, and consumer electronics applications, including smart phones, tablets, and gaming systems. The company is headquartered in Cary, North Carolina and has offices in California’s Silicon Valley, Waltham, Massachusetts, and Paris, France. More information is available at


Coventor and SEMulator3D are registered trademarks of Coventor, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners

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