Mentor tools now certified on TSMC 12 FFC or 7 nm

By Design With Calibre

Planning a design using TSMC’s new 12 FFC or 7 nm V1.0 processes? Good news, the entire Mentor Graphics Calibre platform is now fully certified.

The 12 FFC process is an optimized version of TSMC’s 16 nm FinFET technology with lower leakage power and better cost, the combination of which makes it an attractive choice for IoT applications. The tools certified for 12 FFC include:

  • Calibre nmDRC™
  • Calibre Multi-PatterningCalibre nmLVS™
  • Calibre YieldEnhancer with SmartFill
  • Calibre xACT™
  • Analog FastSPICE (AFS™) Circuit Verification Platform

AFS Mega has achieved readiness for the 12 FFC technology and includes TSMC Modeling Interface (TMI) support.

In addition, Mentor Graphics has certified its Calibre Platform, its Nitro-SoC place and route (P&R) Platform, and its AFS Platform for the TSMC 7 nm V1.0 process, which offers a 3x density improvement, 30% better performance, and 60% lower power than the 16 nm FF process.

Through close collaboration with TSMC, Mentor was able to further refine its tool flow. For example, Calibre DRC runtimes have improved significantly compared to what was seen in initial 7 nm process releases.

During the development of the 7 nm process, TSMC and Mentor Graphics also expanded their collaboration to cover comprehensive verification of electrostatic discharge (ESD) and latch-up issues that can affect reliable performance and product lifetime. This collaboration led, in part, to the development of a multi-CPU capability in the Calibre PERC tool that design teams can use for full point-to-point (P2P) resistance and current density (CD) checking.

Another area of improvement is seen in the engineering change order (ECO) flow. ECOs often show up late and ruin tapeout schedules. Mentor’s answer to this problem is the Calibre YieldEnhancer ECO fill flow, which helps manage late-stage design changes while ensuring the changes remain in compliance with TSMC’s manufacturing requirements.

The IoT is driving more designs to include more analog, mixed-signal, and RF components. Mentor’s analog simulation tools are now certified for the TSMC 7 nm V1.0 process. As for the digital components, Mentor’s Nitro-SoC P&R Platform also meets all the design enablement and certification requirements of the TSMC 7 nm process. Mentor and ARM used Nitro-SoC for the physical implementation of an ARM processor, which is now ready for customer deployment.



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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at