Cadence Develops Chip Optimizer with Manufacturing-Aware Technology

1/30/2006 - Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDNS) announced its new groundbreaking manufacturing-aware chip optimization product Cadence® Chip Optimizer, an innovative, silicon-proven full-chip optimization system. Cadence Chip Optimizer is used after conventional place and route and before design tape out to improve the yield, manufacturability and performance of complex IC designs.

Cadence developed Chip Optimizer as part of its growing family of world-class manufacturing and yield-aware offerings aimed at addressing the industry's most pressing design for manufacturing (DFM) and design for yield (DFY) challenges. Conventional IC implementation tools create an oversimplified model of interconnect and foundry manufacturing process rules. Cadence Chip Optimizer uses a three-dimensional space-based optimization approach which models, analyzes and optimizes true shapes and intervening physical spaces. This provides a more accurate and realistic 'map' of the design, and clearly indicates where important optimizations may be made. Shapes and spaces can be positioned in the exact configuration and location required to correct for sub wavelength, spacing and topological effects. This approach enables greater precision and flexibility in optimization.

"Cadence and ATI have worked together for more than 3 years to bring a critical set of manufacturing optimizations into the design phase," said Greg Buchner, vice president of engineering at ATI. "We have used the Cadence Chip Optimizer technology on more than 10 tapeouts at multiple foundries, including the graphics processor for the Microsoft Xbox 360 and the world's fastest consumer PC graphics processor, our recently announced Radeon X1900 XTX. Cadence Chip Optimizer plays a vital and ever-growing role in helping ATI achieve our design, manufacturability and yield goals."

This technology performs interconnect topology optimizations, while taking into consideration manufacturing and electrical constraints on digital or custom designs.

"Cadence Chip Optimizer has performed flawlessly on our 65-nanometre microprocessor design methodology," said Mark Papermaster, vice president of Microprocessor and Systems Technology Development at IBM Corp. "The truly collaborative partnership we have with the Cadence Chip Optimizer team for the last 3 1/2 years has been an ideal working relationship. The extensive time we spent together understanding and addressing the design for yield and manufacturing challenges was key. We achieved closure to our design goals on schedule, in an automated and predictable manner."

Cadence Chip Optimizer is built on innovative technology developed in Cadence's Project Catena technology incubator and can be applied to a broad range of design styles and process nodes. This is demonstrated by tapeouts and production silicon for high-volume designs at leading-edge process nodes for markets including high-end consumer, graphics processors and microprocessors.

"Unlike many contemporary technology developments purporting to solve manufacturability issues at advanced process nodes, this product represents a fundamental breakthrough in chip scale physical and electrical modelling," said Ted Vucurevich, CTO of Advanced Research and Development at Cadence. "Integrated with incremental sign-off quality analysis and advanced optimization capability, this technology allows us to accurately handle today's most demanding sub-wavelength lithography and manufacturing process rules, and sets the stage to efficiently evolve our capabilities in accordance with the currently published International Semiconductor Association roadmap."

Cadence Chip Optimizer works seamlessly with the Cadence Encounter® digital IC design platform and the Virtuoso® custom design platform. It is a native application on the OpenAccess database.

About Cadence
Cadence enables global electronic-design innovation and plays an essential role in the creation of today's integrated circuits and electronics. Customers use Cadence software and hardware, methodologies, and services to design and verify advanced semiconductors, printed-circuit boards and systems used in consumer electronics, networking and telecommunications equipment, and computer systems. Cadence reported 2004 revenues of approximately $1.2 billion, and has approximately 5,000 employees. The company is headquartered in San Jose, Calif., with sales offices, design centres, and research facilities around the world to serve the global electronics industry.

Cadence, Virtuoso, Encounter and the Cadence logo are registered trademarks of Cadence Design Systems, Inc.

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