Design environment bridges design, CAD, and process development

Sept. 16, 2015

San Jose, CA. ProPlus Design Solutions Inc. today unveiled MEPro, within its own Nano Design Environment (NDE), which bridges circuit design, CAD, and process development and lets designers quickly adopt and make full use of a process platform.

MEPro offers a common platform for circuit design, CAD, and process-development teams, presented in ways each of them are familiar with. They now are able to systematically evaluate any device or circuit target of one or multiple process platforms with Spice model libraries, avoiding model misuse while leaving increased area for design margins.

The product, designed for greater efficiency of flow setup and job execution, improves a designer’s understanding of devices and processes, through systematic evaluation and benchmarking of process platforms at the device or circuit level. More important, MEPro will show the impact of these evaluation and benchmarking results on circuit designs, providing further guidance or assistance to improve them.

Improved design competitiveness and shortened time to market deliver economic factors to design teams. Additionally, design teams installing MEPro will be able to fully leverage the built-in full parallel computing power of MEPro without the need for a Spice simulator license and run more complete evaluation and benchmarking jobs faster.

“Nano Design Environment is the missing piece to merge circuit design and process development,” said Dr. Zhihong Liu, chairman and chief executive officer of ProPlus Design Solutions. “We applied our vast knowledge and expertise on Spice modeling and circuit simulations, and a heavy investment to create the first tool of its kind in the industry. Our goal is to help designers understand and correlate design, device, and process, and quickly adopt and capably use a process platform for their designs. It will also help companies assess how a new process, such as FinFET or FDSOI, will benefit them.”

The ProPlus MEPro has a comprehensive set of device library exploration, model validation, device and process evaluation, and benchmarking features. It can be used to explore SPICE model libraries for full device characteristics, evaluate any device or circuit targets at any and/or all operation conditions to assist designs, and verify device behavior, model accuracy, and quality. It also can be used to compare and benchmark process platforms from different foundries, process nodes, or process revisions, or assist designers select the most optimum devices based on their design criteria.

Additionally, the evaluation results such as new target specifications can be feedback to the process development team for process retargeting also done within MEPro. In the past, CAD, design and process teams worked separately using different languages or disciplines. Designers had to wait for updated tables, specifications, and models before re-design with each revision of the process.

With MEPro, designers or CAD supporting teams do not need to spend days or weeks creating templates and generating books of tables for evaluation and benchmarking jobs. MEPro offers preconfigured projects with hundreds of check items and efficiency improvements through a built-in parallel Spice simulation engine and parallelization technologies. Users do not need to be model or device experts and easily can adopt the tool to evaluate a process platform and device performance with an intuitive graphic user interface. The configuration and execution of an evaluation or benchmarking project can be done in a fraction of the time that one would need without MEPro, with more complete coverage than most current practices. Results can be shared and browsed or re-organized interactively by all coworkers.

MEPro works on 32- and 64-bit Unix, Linux, and Windows operating systems, and runs on multicore computer servers or distributed computing farms.

ProPlus will demonstrate MEPro at the TSMC 2015 Open Innovation Platform (OIP) Ecosystem Forum Thursday, September 17, from 8 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA.

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