The Halo suite of DFM tools from Aprio Technologies delivers a new answer to the thorny problems that come with chip-design respins. It also promises to help the designs that need optical-proximity-correction (OPC) modification to solve yield issues or the modified designs that require a quick change to mask data (also called ECOs). Aprio's Reconfigurable OPC Technology enables Halo to reconfigure an OPC'd layout for a new, optimized OPC result. Such a result can deliver huge performance gains, such as 30X faster results in implementing a design change in the mask data.
Because qualification of an OPC tool can take considerable time and require several test wafers, Aprio has architected its Halo suite to leverage incumbent OPC tools when applicable. In those instances, the Halo-Cal tool is used to generate models for Halo-OPC and Halo-Sim that mimic the behavior of the already qualified tool. This calibration tool makes it possible to use Halo-Sim for finding errors in existing OPC results. Halo-OPC is then used to fix those errors in a style that's consistent with the tool that was initially used.
Time-based licenses for the Halo suite start from $380,000. They are available immediately. Halo tools run on 32-b and 64-b Solaris and Linux boxes.
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