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March 14th, 2008
Software Giants and Startups Tackle Lithography Complexity
This year's conference, which took place again a couple weeks ago in San Jose, featured several announcements from the key players in the EDA space — such as Mentor Graphics, Synopsys, Cadence, Brion Technologies, Luminescent — and also carried the buzz about a couple of the latest newcomers, including Gauda and Tela Innovations. Much of the focus was on getting all the incredible amounts of data that are the necessary outcome of increasingly complex masks through the pipeline. Of course there was much talk about double patterning, and what the software providers are doing to solve key design splitting issues, but there was also talk about how they could help chipmakers avoid double patterning for just a little while longer.
Understandably, a great deal of buzz centered around the eventuality of relying on double patterning techniques to bridge the gap between water-based immersion lithography and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography. While there are such issues as overlay requirements that fall into the purview of the toolmakers, there was much to be said from the EDA folks about how the design layers would be split into their respective masks.
Brion Technologies, for example, came out with its announcement the first day of the conference regarding two products — particularly its Tachyon DPT — that are better equipped to deal with computational lithography as it relates to double patterning.
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