Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, has unveiled a
comprehensive Electromagnetic (EM) Tool Qualification Program that
drives its Design Service Ecosystem partners to ensure greater accuracy
of EM simulators and extractors used in applications such as high-speed
digital clock circuits and high-frequency mixed-signal RF designs.
Targeting TSMC's 90 and 65 nanometer (nm) process
technologies, the program improves device model accuracy, supports a
wider selection of qualified EM tools, significantly reduces customer
EM tool evaluation efforts, lowers the risk and eases adoption of TSMC
advanced process technologies.
Typically, high frequency circuit designers select a set of
devices, such as inductors, to be included in their design, and
evaluate different EM simulators from different tool vendors, trying to
match EM simulator data to silicon measurements provided by foundry.
Most of the time, the results are different due to the variability of
the process data, and the wide variety of different test devices.
Through the EM Tool Qualification Program, TSMC provides EM tool
vendors a standardized set of devices and silicon measurements, and a
unified technology file for extraction and modeling, thus eliminating
the data inconsistency, reducing tool evaluation time and improving
design accuracy. This is especially significant in nanometer RF designs
where obtaining accurate device models at high frequency has created
the bottleneck for first pass design success.
As part of the EM Tool Qualification Program, TSMC developed,
and silicon-verified, a set of commonly used spiral inductors and
provides the devices and the process data to EM tool vendors to verify
the tool accuracy and ability to match silicon data. Once qualified, a
tool qualification report is generated and posted on TSMC-Online,
TSMC's customer portal for designers to download and review. Multiple
EDA partners participate and are being qualified in the program
including Agilent, Ansoft, Cadence, Helic, Integrand, Lorentz, OEA,
Silvaco, and Zeland.
"Continuing to deliver on our commitment to provide more
accuracy, TSMC is the first foundry to proactively work with multiple
EDA vendors to create and qualify interoperability between the high
frequency EM simulation technologies and the foundry's advanced
processes," said Tom Quan, deputy director, Design Service Marketing at
TSMC. "The program is part of our Active Accuracy Assurance (AAA)
initiative previously launched, and provides designers the ability to
select qualified EM tools to match their design needs, improve
compliance with TSMC processes, and ensure design accuracy for first
time silicon success. The program today focuses on individual
point tools, but will expand to include EM tool interoperability within
the full mixed-signal and RF design flow."