With the continued rise of densities and I/O counts, integrated-circuit (IC) packages face a multitude of demands. If they don't satisfy these needs, the packages could stand in the way of IC progress. In fact, the semiconductor industry's move to 90 nm and systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) very much depends on the simultaneous evolution of packaging technologies. To nurture this parallel development of ICs and their packages, Ansoft Corp. (www.ansoft.com) and Synopsys, Inc. (www.synopsys.com) recently began collaborating.
Together, the two companies will provide streamlined IC and package co-design and analysis design-flow solutions. These solutions will specifically address the substantial challenges of developing products based on 90-nm and SoC technologies. The combined solution made its debut this past June at the Design Automation Conference in San Diego, Calif. It merges Synopsys' package-design tool, Encore, with Ansoft's signal-integrity-analysis products, TPA and SIwave.
With this combined tool solution, designers of I/O buffers, integrated circuits, and packages should now be able to work concurrently from the same specification sheet. By utilizing a common design flow, they can streamline the design process and save both time and money.
Package designers also should enjoy productivity and reliability benefits. Thanks to the ability to lay out the package and then seamlessly analyze its interconnect structure for power and signal-integrity issues, they can have greater faith in the resulting package design.