Joe Davis, Mentor Graphics
EETimes (3/12/2012 11:03 AM EDT)
In recent discussions with customers around the world, we have been hearing a surprising new message—that, at 28 nm, they have to care about density at the cell design level “like never before.” It’s surprising because density has historically been a manufacturing issue that was handled post tape-out or during chip assembly. However, where and how density is handled in the design process has evolved significantly along with the process technologies (Figure 1). In this article, I’ll take a look at how density has evolved from a back-end manufacturing issue that was of little interest to designers to a design concern that affects the layout of standard cell libraries.
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