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Posted: February 26, 2009

IBM and PDF Solutions Agree to Jointly Develop a Chip Design Platform for Advanced Technology Nodes

(Nanowerk News) IBM and PDF Solutions, Inc. have announced an agreement to develop an integrated circuit (IC) design platform to mitigate the effects of escalating design and manufacturing process complexity at the 32-, 28-, and 22-nanometer (nm) dimensions.
By leveraging IBM's leading-edge semiconductor design and process development expertise and PDF Solutions' innovative pdBRIX™ IC design solution, the two companies plan to develop a software and design IP platform that can provide efficient and cost-effective design templates to give designers more design flexibility and creativity at advanced process nodes.
This effort is part of an IBM-led initiative called Computational Scaling, a process that uses mathematical techniques -- including design rules and models -- to enable the production of complex, powerful and energy-efficient semiconductors at advanced technology nodes.
IBM and PDF Solutions' planned IC design platform will use a template-based solution to form all logic circuits by assembly of a small, manageable set of chip layout building blocks, replacing the need for complex design rules. The physical layouts that result from this approach are expected to improve both manufacturability and designability of advanced ICs -- all while helping to reduce the cost and time of hardware qualification.
"Enabling cost-effective scaling to advanced technology nodes will require innovation spanning the entire design-to-silicon flow," said Gary Patton, vice president IBM Semiconductor Research and Development Center. "PDF Solutions' pdBRIX™ IC design approach is a strong complement to IBM's proven strength in technology optimization, and aligns closely with the goals of IBM's Computational Scaling initiative."
"PDF Solutions is proud to announce this agreement with IBM," said John Kibarian, president and CEO of PDF Solutions. "IBM's investment in advanced process R&D can provide a world class manufacturing process that a broad set of manufacturers and fabless firms can utilize. The co-optimized design platform based on pdBRIX™ can then layer on top of the manufacturing process solutions developed by IBM."
This agreement is a continuation of the long relationship between PDF Solutions and IBM, extending from the 90nm through 32nm nodes. Initial results demonstrating the feasibility of creating a competitive design from logic templates is planned to be presented at the SPIE Design for Manufacturability through Design-Process Integration conference.
PDF Solutions and IBM plan to initially develop a set of templates to assist designers in the creation of IP at the 32nm node.
Source: IBM (press release)