28 March 2014 ECO fill: automated fill modification to support late-stage design changes
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Abstract
One of the most critical factors in achieving a positive return for a design is ensuring the design not only meets performance specifications, but also produces sufficient yield to meet the market demand. The goal of design for manufacturability (DFM) technology is to enable designers to address manufacturing requirements during the design process. While new cell-based, DP-aware, and net-aware fill technologies have emerged to provide the designer with automated fill engines that support these new fill requirements, design changes that arrive late in the tapeout process (as engineering change orders, or ECOs) can have a disproportionate effect on tapeout schedules, due to the complexity of replacing fill. If not handled effectively, the impacts on file size, run time, and timing closure can significantly extend the tapeout process. In this paper, the authors examine changes to design flow methodology, supported by new fill technology, that enable efficient, fast, and accurate adjustments to metal fill late in the design process. We present an ECO fill methodology coupled with the support of advanced fill tools that can quickly locate the portion of the design affected by the change, remove and replace only the fill in that area, while maintaining the fill hierarchy. This new fill approach effectively reduces run time, contains fill file size, minimizes timing impact, and minimizes mask costs due to ECO-driven fill changes, all of which are critical factors to ensuring time-to-market schedules are maintained.
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Greg Davis, Jeff Wilson, J. J. Yu, Anderson Chiu, Yao-Jen Chuang, Ricky Yang, "ECO fill: automated fill modification to support late-stage design changes", Proc. SPIE 9053, Design-Process-Technology Co-optimization for Manufacturability VIII, 90530S (28 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2047650; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2047650
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