Electronic Design

OPC Tool Spurred By Cell-Processor-Based Hardware

The next generation of Mentor Graphics' optical-proximity correction (OPC) tool has arrived, bringing with it a number of innovations that result in improved simulation accuracy. Calibre nmOPC is a third-generation OPC tool that takes on the complexity of reticle-enhancement technologies that 45-nm processes will usher in.

Process variability can severely impact yield, especially in the lithographic process where dose and focus variability affect image fidelity. To enable acceptable yields under low-k1 conditions, Caliber nmOPC uses both dense simulation capabilities, which provide 100% simulation coverage for the mask layer, and process window-correction optimization algorithms to ensure that silicon is correctly patterned. The tool also accepts multi-layered inputs into the corrective algorithm so that critical design features are patterned to preserve design intent as well as parametric yield.

Tools such as Calibre nmOPC can mean high cost of ownership due to the geometrically-rising need for more CPUs to run simulations. Mentor addresses this through a coprocessor architecture that enables connection of a coprocessor-acceleration cluster with an Ethernet connection to an existing compute cluster. Mentor has partnered with Mercury Computer Systems to offer standard coprocessor-acceleration clusters based on the Cell Broadband Engine. The Cell Processor clusters accelerate the image-processing components of Calibre nmOPC, enabling from 4X to 10X improvements in runtime with little or no increase in general-purpose computing requirements over the 65-nm node.

Additionally, Mentor has introduced a fourth-generation compact resist process model. The CM1 model demonstrates higher accuracy than earlier generations, meeting demands for the forthcoming 45- and 32-nm process nodes. The model takes full advantage of Calibre nmOPC's dense simulation capabilities and coprocessor acceleration features.

Calibre nmOPC starts at $120,000 for a one-year term license and is available now.

Related Links
Mentor Graphics

Mercury Computer Systemsbr> www.mc.com

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