Electronic Design

Design-To-Mask Software Beats Mask-Prep Data Crunch

Shrinking process geometries and circuit complexity have conspired to create an explosion in data volumes for advanced IC manufacturing. Dealing with the oceans of data can result in longer development times. Most deeply affected are the mask-synthesis steps (RET and OPC) and mask-data preparation (MDP). In an effort to reduce the data-communication overhead and turnaround times, TSMC has implemented Synopsys’s Proteus-CATS data eXchange (PCX) technology. PCX technology is a scalable parallel-interface that smoothes the path between Synopsys’s Proteus OPC and CATS mask-data-prep software. Shortening the mask-making cycle time can further enhance the advantage of TSMC’s in-house mask services. Developed for both the GDS and OASIS library data formats, PCX technology is capable of processing hundreds of gigabytes of post-OPC data with almost zero MDP input- overhead, reportedly. PCX technology includes user-defined, scheduling-based, workload management options for data-processing optimization. Additionally, PCX technology helps ensure that data integrity is maintained during the OPC-to-MDP transfer. Currently, PCX is supported on the Proteus 2006.09 and CATS 2006.09 software versions. PCX technology is compatible with x86-64 with RHEL or SLES in multi-threaded and distributed processing modes. Synopsys

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