Cadence Collaborates with TSMC to Drive Innovation Using New 12FFC Process Technology


SAN JOSE, Calif., March 15, 2017 — (PRNewswire) — Cadence Design Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CDNS) today announced its collaboration with TSMC to further advanced-node design innovation with TSMC's new 12nm FinFET Compact (12FFC) process technology. With Cadence® digital and signoff solutions, custom/analog solutions and IP, system-on-chip (SoC) designers can use the 12FFC process to create emerging mid-range mobile and high-end consumer applications that require optimal power, performance and area (PPA). Cadence is actively working with customers on early engagements with the 12FFC process.

In support of TSMC's new 12FFC process technology, Cadence digital and signoff and custom/analog tools have achieved the latest version of Design Rule Manual (DRM) certification for the TSMC 12FFC process. A corresponding process design kit (PDK) is also available for download. Additionally, Cadence has delivered a library characterization tool flow and is developing IP for customers migrating to the 12FFC process. To learn more about the Cadence full-flow digital and signoff solutions, please visit For information on the Cadence custom/analog solutions, visit For information on the Cadence IP solutions, please visit

12FFC Digital, Signoff and Custom/Analog Tool Certification
The Cadence digital and signoff and custom/analog tools certified for the 12FFC process are as follows:

  • Innovus Implementation System: Enables increased capacity and reduced turnaround time while supporting TSMC's 12FFC design requirements, such as floorplanning, placement and routing with integrated color-/pin-access/variability-aware timing closure, and clock tree and power optimization
  • Quantus QRC Extraction Solution: Delivers on TSMC accuracy requirements for all 12FFC modeling features with required accuracy versus foundry golden, offering multi-patterning and a built-in 3D extraction capability
  • Tempus Timing Signoff Solution: Provides integrated, advanced process calculation of delay and signal integrity effects, with static timing analysis (STA) while achieving TSMC's rigorous accuracy standards, including those at low-voltage operating conditions
  • Voltus IC Power Integrity Solution: Cell-level power integrity tool that supports comprehensive electromigration and IR drop (EM/IR) design rules and requirements while providing full-chip SoC power signoff accuracy
  • Voltus-Fi Custom Power Integrity Solution: SPICE-level accurate tool that supports comprehensive EM/IR design rules and requirements to analyze and signoff analog, memory and custom digital IP blocks down to the transistor device level
  • Virtuoso® custom IC advanced-node platform: Provides innovative, productivity-enhancing implementation to verification flows, integrating electrical and physical design checking that is correlated to the Cadence TSMC-certified signoff platforms
  • Spectre® simulation platform: Spectre Circuit Simulator, Spectre Accelerated Parallel Simulator (APS) and Spectre eXtensive Partitioning Simulator (XPS) deliver fast and accurate circuit simulation with full support for advanced-node device models with self-heating and reliability effects
  • Physical Verification System: Includes advanced technologies and rule decks to support design rule checks (DRCs), layout versus schematic (LVS), advanced metal fill, yield-scoring, voltage-dependent checks and in-design signoff 
  • Litho Electrical Analyzer: Allows layout-dependent effect- (LDE-) aware re-simulation, layout analysis, matching constraint checking, reporting on LDE contributions and the generation of fixing guidelines from partial layout to accelerate 12FFC analog design convergence

The Cadence digital and signoff tools provide floorplanning, placement, routing and extraction enhancements required for the 12FFC process technology. The Cadence custom/analog tools provide underlying support and capabilities that enable designers to improve productivity when compared with traditional, manual approaches as well as fast, accurate verification of 12FFC design performance and reliability.

12FFC Library Characterization Tool Flow Delivery
The Cadence Virtuoso Liberate Characterization Solution and the Virtuoso Variety Statistical Characterization Solution have been validated to deliver accurate Liberty libraries for the TSMC 12FFC process including advanced timing, noise and power models. The solutions utilize innovative methods to characterize Liberty Variation Format (LVF) models, enabling process variation signoff for low-voltage applications and the ability to create EM models enabling signal EM optimizations and signoff.

12FFC IP Collaboration
Cadence has been working closely with key 16FF+ and 16FFC customers for the past few years and is beginning to work with customers adopting the 12FFC process to develop next-generation applications processors for smartphones and tablets as well as high-end consumer applications. Cadence is currently migrating its flagship LPDDR4 PHY to the 12FFC process node, targeting 4266Mbps so customers can reap the benefits of the 12FFC process. In addition, the Cadence LPDDR controller IP is also 12FFC-ready. With a faster process and a new compact standard cell library, customers using the 12FFC process can achieve better chip area scaling and greater power savings.

"Our customers demand the highest quality design tools, IP and process technologies, and they also value the flexibility that each provides to help them reach the varying goals of each SoC project," said Dr. Anirudh Devgan, executive vice president and general manager of the Digital & Signoff Group and the System & Verification Group at Cadence. "TSMC's new 12FFC process provides the FinFET process benefits customers need in addition to performance and cost benefits. Through our work with TSMC, our tools and IP can enable our mutual customers to aggressively target their emerging markets using familiar tools and flows."

"The introduction of our 12FFC process provides an ideal option between our existing 16nm and 7nm processes for area- and power-sensitive applications," said Suk Lee, TSMC senior director, Design Infrastructure Marketing Division. "Our ongoing collaboration with Cadence has resulted in the timely delivery of a robust set of tools, flows and IP that support this new process."

About Cadence
Cadence enables electronic systems and semiconductor companies to create the innovative end products that are transforming the way people live, work and play. Cadence's software, hardware and semiconductor IP are used by customers to deliver products to market faster—from semiconductors to printed circuit boards to whole systems. The company's System Design Enablement strategy helps customers develop differentiated products in mobile, consumer, cloud datacenter, automotive, aerospace, IoT, industrial and other market segments. Cadence is listed as one of FORTUNE Magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For. Learn more at

© 2017 Cadence Design Systems, Inc. All rights reserved worldwide. Cadence, the Cadence logo and the other Cadence marks found at are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cadence Design Systems, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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