Why Choose ASIC North for IC Mask Layout Design Services?

ASIC North is a great choice when looking for a partner to assist with integrated circuit mask design services. Our mask designers have experience across a wide range of CMOS, SOI, Bipolar and FinFET technologies ranging from 500nm Planar devices down to 5nm FinFets.

We use industry standard Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tooling. The Cadence Virtuoso XL/GXL tool provides outstanding linkage between the schematic and layout representations of a design. This makes it easy to trace nets in a layout as well as allow for quick updates when a design change is required. Since the tool tracks the wire connections, it is common that the design is layout versus schematic (LVS) clean prior to even running the checking tools. The net result is that these tools allow our designers to do larger designs in a more efficient manner than if a less advanced layout tool is used.

We typically use Mentor Calibre for Design Rule Checking (DRC) as well as LVS checking. These tools have been proven to effectively perform physical verification of both flat and hierarchical designs. Using this tool allows our IC mask design team to quickly zero in on design rule violations or connectivity problems. Although Calibre is our “GoTo” checking tool, we have also demonstrated our effectiveness using the Cadence and Synopsys checking tools. Cadence Voltus is typically used when checking for Electromigration concerns as well as Power Distribution IR drops (EMIR checking).

With years designing in many different technologies, we can offer expert physical designers who have worked with the leading semiconductor fabricators. Our team can handle tough challenges across any technology, analog or custom digital.

When developing analog layout we use common centroid techniques and inter-digitation of devices to get the best matching. We also use dummy devices at boundaries to improve patterning of critical devices and add guard rings to provide noise isolation and uniform bulk and well potentials.

Finally, we use metal shielding for noise sensitive nets and can also use crossover techniques on high speed differential wiring to make any coupled noise common mode which will be rejected by the receiver.

Our team approaches layout in a very methodical fashion.

Job 1 is to understand how the circuit block will be integrated into the next higher level of the design. We identify the supporting power distribution structure and subsequently develop our localized power distribution plan. We then consider signal flow into and then through our portion of the layout. That signal flow will largely dictate how circuit subcells will be organized. Tools such as Virtuoso XL/GXL are invaluable in the floorplanning process since the flightlines provide a clear indication of the interactions between devices and circuit blocks. The overall floorplan will help drive how the underlying cells have their devices organized.

The circuit layout then proceeds in a “bottoms-up” fashion where the cells containing devices are laid out and wired with the pre-knowledge of how power and signaling will enter and leave the block. Once the block layouts are completed, antenna diodes are added as required and fill shapes inserted to maintain localized layer density. Finally, these cells are thoroughly checked (LVS & DRC) and layout proceeds to the remaining cell at the same level of hierarchy. The layout then proceeds up through all the hierarchical levels until the entire assigned core has been completed and checked.

Contact ASIC North for IC Mask Layout Design!

From larger scale technologies down to cutting edge EUV, Multiple-patterning FinFet processes, our physical designers can work independently or can supplement your layout team to complete any size project. ASIC North has a reputation for quality, efficiency, speed, and an expert level of skill. With experience in a wide variety of Analog Cores such as Analog to digital converters (A/D), Digital to Analog (D/A), Phase Lock Loops (PLL’s), Delay Lock Loops (DLL’s), etc. our mask designers can handle any design challenge.

ASIC North mask designers provides the highest quality Integrated Circuit layout support to our design teams as well as to our customers. To experience the best in integrated circuit layout design services, contact us to discuss your specific needs and to see how ASIC North can make your project successful. Let us help ensure your custom integrated circuit layout design is completed on time, at the right price and meeting your performance goals.