Samsung tapes out 2nm backside routing test chip

Samsung tapes out 2nm backside routing test chip

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

Cadence Design Systems has had its tools certified for the 2nm process at Samsung Ondry with digital, custom analog and backside routing.

The digital and custom analog design flows are certified for the SF2 2nm and SF3 3nm processes, while a complete backside routing solutions enable next-generation high-performance chips for mobile, automotive, AI and hyperscale applications.

The backside implementation flow is already proven with a successful SF2 test chip tapeout. This is a key capability for 2nm designs that can be constrained by a lack of routing for Samsung, Intel and TSMC, instead routing on the back of the wafer and using vias to connect power lines.

The certification means engineers can design ICs with PDKs based on certified SF2 and SF3 flows using custom and analog tools, including AI-based Virtuoso Studio.

The flow includes the Genus Synthesis Solution, Modus DFT Software Solution, Innovus Implementation System, Quantus Extraction Solution and Quantus Field Solver, Tempus  Timing Signoff Solution and Tempus ECO Option, Pegasus Verification System, Liberate Characterization Portfolio, Voltus IC Power Integrity Solution and the Cadence Cerebrus Intelligent Chip Explorer.

Cell-swapping support helps designers align cell pins for direct connections to conserve routing resources while support for mixed-row solutions in various combinations to maximize area-based design rules as well as the ability to place and refine traces using mask-shifted cells and horizontal half-track shifted cells to reduce displacement. There is also support for various rectilinear standard cells to achieve higher density and reduced IR drop due to the insertion of enhanced, trim-aware via staples.

The backside routing relies on the Innovus GigaPlace engine that automatically places and legalizes a nano through silicon via (nTSV) structure, allowing a connection between frontside and backside layers. The Innovus GigaOpt engine uses backside layers for timing-critical long wires to improve chip performance while the Innovus NanoRoute engine inherently supports backside routing based on rules in the technology’s Library Exchange Format (LEF).

The Quantus Extraction Solution fully supports backside layers to enable the Tempus Timing Solution to sign off designs with a mix of frontside and backside layers, delivering reduced voltage drop on the power distribution mesh and improved routability on the frontside metal layers.

“Through our ongoing collaborations with Cadence, we’re consistently looking for new ways to help our mutual customers accelerate next-generation design innovation,” said Sangyun Kim, vice president of the Foundry Design Technology Team at Samsung Electronics. “The successful rollout of this backside design flow, fully supported by the Cadence digital flow, lets customers reap the benefits of our advanced SF2 technology.”

“Designers can speed time to market by leveraging our collaboration with Samsung Foundry on the complete RTL-to-GDS flow and SF2 technology,” said Vivek Mishra, corporate vice president in the Digital & Signoff Group at Cadence. “We’ve already seen a successful tapeout, and we’re looking forward to seeing our customers achieve many more design successes using our latest technologies.”

The custom/analog design tools provide customers with several benefits, such as better corner simulation management, statistical analyses, design centering and circuit optimization; support for parallel operations on modern compute farms and private and public cloud configurations; better performance and scalability throughout the layout environment; mixed-signal OpenAccess design kits for seamless integration with the Innovus Implementation’s place-and-route engines for improved quality of results; summarized EM-IR information, which highlights violations and details on resistance value, metal layer, width, and length information; and feedback regarding circuit performance and reliability.

“Through our latest collaboration with Cadence, we’ve seen early customers improve productivity with the Cadence-certified design flows and our advanced SF2 and SF3 process technologies,” said Kim. “With the new PDKs, we’re making it easier for developers of next-generation mobile, automotive, AI and hyperscale designs to adopt our technologies and deliver innovations to market faster.”

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