Traditionally, after the hand-off of a design, it has been the foundry’s responsibility to ensure printability. But with process technologies of 90nm and below, the entire design flow is susceptible to yield inhibitors. That’s why designers, foundries and EDA toolmakers are turning to design-for-manufacturing (DFM) methodologies that promise improved flows and solutions that manage and analyze nanometer effects. However, in order for a DFM recommendation to be of value to designers, it must include details about how a particular design will manufacture given the specific process. This requires a tool that can communicate an awareness of the process window at all stages of the design flow. This capability is the key benefit of an advanced DFM technology known as litho-friendly design (LFD), the goal of which is to capture process variability to improve layout robustness.

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