Pyxis banks on single-pass manufacturability and yield optimization

by Debra Vogler, Senior Technical Editor, Solid-State Technology

Building on its relationships with partners PDF Solutions, Ponte Solutions, and Brion Technologies (recently acquired by ASML), Pyxis Technology launched its Nexus Solution Suite on Sept. 25, having matured the product through implementation on 60 different designs, and working with a number of IC manufacturers including AMD and Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing.

According to Mitch Heins, VP of marketing, the need for the company’s technology arises not only from the need to start with a “fresh sheet of paper” with respect to the traditional iterative approach to physical design. Pyxis has set out on a design-based DFM approach that implements a single-pass approach that concurrently looks at routability closure, timing closure, manufacturing closure, DFM rules, etc. The resulting layout is thereby optimized for yield.

To illustrate the yield benefits achievable with Pyxis’ NexusRoute software, an IC routing platform architected for designs =65nm, Heins provided data on a benchmarking study showing how predicted yield using the company’s auto-router compares with other commercially available routers [see Figure]. The graph shows results from six different benchmarks, four of which were manufactured at 90nm and two of which were manufactured at 65nm technologies, he explained.

Each of the benchmarked designs is a production design for which the fab yield is known and simulated using yield analysis tools from its DFM partners, Ponte Solutions and PDF Solutions. The results were correlated to the known fab yields, Heins told WaferNEWS, and then re-routed with NexusRoute “using identical standard cell and macro placements and timing constraints,” he noted. The Pyxis version of the designs were re-simulated and compared against the original version of the design to generate the results in the figure. In all cases, the Pyxis routed design showed an improvement in the simulated yield ranging from 5.1%-11.1%. — D.V.


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