Mentor Rolls Out Calibre Products with Support for Toshiba Mask Writing

4/17/2003 - Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT) announced the release of two new Calibre® products, Calibre FRACTUREjTM and Calibre FRACTUREtTM, which support the JEOLV52 and Toshiba® VSB11 mask writing machines. These tools expand Calibre's mask data preparation (MDP) tool portfolio for variable shaped beam (VSB) mask writing machines. The MDP portfolio also includes Calibre FRACTUREmTM for the MEBES mask writing format and Calibre MDPViewTM, the multi-format viewing and job deck environment. The release is part of Calibre's strategy to deliver a complete and unified design-to-silicon platform. Additional mask writer formats are in preparation.

As data volumes explode and mask costs soar to the million-dollar range, mask manufacturers and IC design companies are looking for ways to reduce costs and turn-around-time. Calibre MDP tools allow integrated circuit design data, in which resolution enhancement techniques and geometry processing have been applied, to be exported directly from the Calibre hierarchical processing engine to the mask writer. The direct export of data eliminates the data volume bottleneck created by the formation of large, intermediate files. This streamlined flow, combined with the optimization of data at the output stage, enables mask writers to maintain and even exceed current performance levels, and optimize turn-around times, even as gate count and design sizes grow.

"Retaining mask data hierarchy as long as possible has proven to be the best way to reduce cycle times and costs while also allowing us a more efficient operation of our current production equipment," said Craig Kokjohn, executive vice president of Worldwide Operations, DuPont Photomasks, Inc. "Using Calibre MDP tools has shown that we can streamline our data flow even as we shift toward the challenges of the most advanced semiconductor designs."

"Continuing technology advances for mask manufacturing and managing costs for advanced technology nodes are the most critical issues facing the semiconductor industry," said Joseph Sawicki, general manager, design-to-silicon division, Mentor Graphics. "Expanding Calibre's design-to-silicon platform to include these two advanced MDP formats allows us to leverage our hierarchical processing power to deliver new mask technology while at the same time, lowering the cost of mask manufacturing."

Calibre FRACTUREjTM and Calibre FRACTUREtTM are wholly integrated with Calibre's industry-standard physical verification and manufacturability tools and are easily integrated into design flows. An extensive set of Calibre tools are used in an MDP flow including: Calibre DRCTM and Calibre DRC-HTM for design rule and hierarchical rule checking including mask rule checking (MRC) and rules-based mask proximity corrections (MPC) as user programmable capabilities; Calibre RVETM results viewing environment for viewing mask rule checking results; Calibre FRACTUREmTM for creating the MEBES format output; and Calibre MDPviewTM for a visual verification of GDSII and the converted data prior to export.

Pricing and Availability
Pricing for the Calibre mask data preparation products begins at $39,500.

The Calibre Design-to-Silicon Platform
In nanometer technology, the steps required to transition an IC design from layout to silicon manufacturing are drastically altered, presenting a host of daunting challenges. Issues arise concerning critical process effects, intricate photolithography, acceptable yield and explosive data volumes. To meet these challenges with confidence, design teams have turned to the Calibre design-to-silicon platform of integrated tools. From physical verification and full-chip, transistor-level parasitic extraction to yield optimization, design for manufacturability (DFM) and mask data preparation (MDP), every facet of the design-to-silicon transformation is efficiently and accurately managed by Calibre. A comprehensive set of Calibre resolution enhancement technology (RET) tools round out the Calibre suite to ensure design feature pattern fidelity while giving each IDM or foundry working at 130nm and below the widest range of RET options available: rule and model-based OPC, scattering bars, PSM, OAI and double dipole techniques in any combination required. In a continuing tradition of delivering superior technology, the Calibre design-to-silicon platform of integrated tools is recognized as the industry standard worldwide to address the complexities of advanced IC design.

About Mentor Graphics
Mentor Graphics Corporation (Nasdaq: MENT) is a world leader in electronic hardware and software design solutions, providing products, consulting services and award-winning support for the world's most successful electronics and semiconductor companies. Established in 1981, the company reported revenues over the last 12 months of about $600 million and employs approximately 3,500 people worldwide. Corporate headquarters are located at 8005 S.W. Boeckman Road, Wilsonville, Oregon 97070-7777; Silicon Valley headquarters are located at 1001 Ridder Park Drive, San Jose, California 95131-2314. World Wide Web site:

Mentor Graphics and Calibre are registered trademarks, and Calibre FRACTUREj, Calibre FRACTUREt, Calibre FRACTUREm, Calibre DRC, Calibre DRC-H, Calibre RVE, and Calibre MDPview are trademarks, of Mentor Graphics Corporation.

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