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July 19, 2009

TSMC releases advanced technology interoperable process design kit

Represents the newest design initiative to come from the company’s Open Innovation Platform

By CBR Staff Writer

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company has released an interoperable process design kit (iPDK) for advanced technology. The company claimed that the kit is validated on its 65 nanometer process and represents the newest design initiative to come from the company’s Open Innovation Platform, focusing on improving innovation in custom, analogue, mixed-signal and RF designs.

The company’s unified iPDK works across multiple OpenAccess-based EDA design environments, eliminating the need for multiple proprietary PDKs and enabling reuse of design data between different custom IC design toolsets.

Reportedly, the iPDK initiative is supported by EDA vendors including Cadence, Magma, Mentor, Springsoft, Synopsys, and others. The first iPDK in 65nm was reportedly developed in collaboration with TSMC development partners, Synopsys and Ciranova, and QA/validation partners, Magma and Springsoft.

ST Juang, senior director of design infrastructure marketing at TSMC, said: “The iPDK is a long-awaited solution to many of the design problems that have delayed new technology and tool adoption. Multiple and/or incompatible PDKs on proprietary custom design databases have limited design reuse and portability, and has resulted in high development, maintenance and support costs for all ecosystem partners including TSMC.

“The interoperable design kit will enable higher level of innovation and differentiation for our customers in full custom, analogue, and mixed-signal designs.”

The new offering is said to be based on the OpenAccess database and data model and features open standard languages, Tcl and Python, for parameterised layout cells, callbacks and technology files and includes unified views of symbols. The architecture accommodates specific customisations, future feature extensions and advanced and differentiated development, claimed the company.

Reportedly, customers will be able to extend the iPDK in the languages supported by the custom design tools of their choice. The iPDK also includes SKILL callbacks and component description format (CDF) files to provide compatibility with current OpenAccess-based PDKs and Cadence IC6.1 environment.

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The company claimed its new offering’s single interoperable data model enables new iPDKs to be developed with consistent quality and be available earlier for advanced process technology nodes. Reportedly, the new offerings’ interoperability with multiple EDA tools and design flows remove design tool and flow adoption barrier and offer customers more choices of design tools.

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