Cadence snaps up Invarium, cites pattern synthesis benefits

July 12, 2007 – In the latest sign of consolidation in the far-flung DFM universe, Cadence Design Systems Inc. has acquired Invarium Inc., a developer of lithography modeling and pattern-synthesis technology, for an undisclosed amount.

The deal “creates the path to the industry’s leading DFM solution for functional and parametric yield improvement, enabling the prevention, detection, correction and optimization of manufacturing effects on advanced geometry designs,” the companies said in a statement.

Invarium’s flagship product, DimensionPPC, is comprised of a powerful PPC model and an advanced mask layout synthesis engine. An analytical model captures key process effects without requiring the creation of multiple models for different process conditions, and enables an accurate simulation of how an IC layout will be patterned post-etch and across the process window on varying film-stacks and topography. The layout is then synthesized in a single-loop, correct-by-construction tape-out flow with in-situ verification.

Invarium has been working to refine the many modules of its forward simulation model of the lithography process, and at this spring’s SPIE Advanced Lithography Symposium it claimed best accuracy in predicting final resist patterns, and reported having two paying customers for its OPC outsource services and a plan to provide and support software to be run in-house by future large customers. The company is working with IMEC to address BARC behavior in double patterning, which must not obscure alignment marks but also must prevent reflections from the first pattern when the second is printed. It also recently enlisted the services of industry guru Chris Mack, one of the pioneers of predictive simulation.

“Augmenting the Cadence design-side DFM leadership with Invarium’s manufacturing technology will allow us to provide global customers a comprehensive DFM solution, from design implementation through silicon signoff and manufacturing,” stated Roy Prasad, president and CEO of Invarium.

Jim Miller, EVP of products and technologies organization for Cadence, noted that the addition of Invarium’s technology will help Cadence better address new patterning challenges at and below 45nm, including double patterning, printability and scaling of very fine features, and ever-tiny error margins.


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