New routing tool likely in 45nm/32nm space

By : |April 19, 2009 0

BANGALORE, INDIA: According to Hanns Windele, VP Europe and India, Mentor Graphics, it is quite likely that a new routing tool will be available as the global semiconductor industry enters the 45nm and 32nm spaces.

He mentioned this during a round table with key members from the Indian semiconductor industry, which was organized by the India Semiconductor Association (ISA).

Mentor Graphics round table organized by the ISA. Mentor's Hanns Windele is standing sixth from left and the author is standing third from right.

Multimode, multicorner tools
Windele mentioned that in every likelihood, a new routing tool would be coming soon, once the industry enters the 45nm/32nm space. "There is an increasing static timing analysis signoff complexity. The explosive growth in complexity requires multimode and multicorner tools," he said.

Multicorner and multimode (MCMM) and manufacturing variability will drive the next generation place and route technology. Even in the low-growth markets, technical discontinuities create opportunities for market share changes. For instance, 65nm brings along more than 21 corners/modes scenarios; while 90nm has 10 corners, and 130nm only has four corners.

Therefore, another place and route tool will cover the upcoming MCMM problem. Even in low-growth markets, technical discontinuities create opportunities for market share changes.

Recovery in 2010?
Comparing downturns of the recent years, Windele noted that 2008 and 2009 looked different than the other downturns. "There is hardly any inventory left in the industry. One prediction is: as the price upswing comes, prices in the semicon industry will go up very quickly," he noted.

Seeds are already being sown for recovery in 2010. Already, the industry has experiecned two years of severe price declines in memory. Further, systems will be re-designed to take advantage of lower bit prices of FLASH and DRAM.

There will be consolidation and reduced investment in semiconductor capacity in 2008 and 2009. Ramp-up of new system designs will likely happen in 2010 during the period of reduced semiconductor supply.

Industry realities
According to him, the realities of the electronics industry today are:

* Growth of the EDA market requires solutions to new design problems.
* Adoption of leading-edge design rules is occurring as fast as ever.
* Even in established EDA markets, discontinuities cause changes in relative market share.
* Semiconductor market is not (yet) consolidating.
* It is producing new leaders who capitalize on innovation opportunities. In this context, he cited Mentor’s example, which is  now #1 in Europe.

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