Is Curvy Design an Opportunity or a Dream?
TimeMonday, July 11th11:30am - 12:30pm PDT
LocationDAC Pavilion, Level 2 Exhibit Hall
DescriptionThe semiconductor manufacturing community is ready for the first time in 40 years to enable a wholesale change in what future chips could look like by manufacturing curvilinear features. But most of the chip design community doesn’t know that and this talk is about bridging that awareness from manufacturing to the design community. The entire chip design infrastructure is based on the Manhattan assumption. In my previous life in EDA, I had something to do with that, so I know this very well. I also know this is not going to change any time soon. At the same time, though, is there any doubt that a curvilinear “curvy” chip, if magically made possible, would be smaller, faster, and use less power? Of course not. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. And the least resistive path is a smoothly curved path, not a series of 90 degree turns. Another thing we know from my current life in software for semiconductor manufacturing: a target shape that is easier to manufacture is more reliably manufacturable. And 90-degree turns are not manufacturable, but smooth curvilinear turns are. Curvy designs would yield better, decrease chip size and perform more consistently. There’s an opportunity to take advantage of what semiconductor manufacturing has enabled for the first time in 40 years. In this talk, I’ll provide a baseline education of how photomasks and wafers are manufactured then summarize the changes in semiconductor manufacturing that enable curvy designs. My goal is to explain why manufacturing is no longer a barrier to curvy design and spark the imagination of the EDA and design community.