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New Era for DFM
November 23, 2009

Jake Buurma
VP, West Coast Operations, Si2

The OpenDFM specification working group is reviewing a near final draft of a universal DRC language that can be translated into a variety of proprietary verification languages such as those for tools like Calibre, Hercules and Quartz, with no loss of accuracy or performance. Recent DAC demos indicate that the OpenDFM format has the potential to reduce the volume of DRC rules by 10X - 20X because it describes physical verification at a higher level than traditional DRC rules. The DFMC is focused on the completion of OpenDFM which is scheduled for release later this year with rapid adoption expected by all major EDA vendors, silicon foundries, and end-user companies. The next release of openDFM will add rules for Lithography, Chemical Mechanical Planarization and Critical Area Analysis.

One instance of the complexity of DFM rules lies in spacing rules for the newest technology nodes. Spacing rules at 32nm process nodes depend on many factors including the length and width of the neighboring shapes as well as interactions with other layers such as an overlap of metal 2 with metal 1.

The recommended extensions to the Liberty syntax, containing the additional information referred to above, intends to fulfill the need for enhanced characterization settings information for library tool providers and library users, particularly for those who are involved in the latest technology nodes. Their main goal is to enable library providers to state how they configured the environments and measurements for library generation. It provides a common language for exchanging simulation settings and measurement choices that affect characterization data. It does not represent a characterization guideline and is not an update to the existing models. Libraries that include this data will help library users to avoid misalignments between design settings and the characterization environment. And it will assist users to remove or reconcile deviations between static analysis and silicon results caused by incorrect validation and correlation setups.

OpenDFM provides a compact notation for the description of physical verification rules that include conditional rules and ranges of acceptable values.


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