The Nangate open source cell library is the first of its kind. The library is based on the FreePDK45 process design kit (PDK) from North Carolina State University (NCSU). The FreePDK45 project, initiated by Si2 and the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), was funded by SRC, Si2, and the National Science Foundation (NSF). This PDK does not contain any proprietary or sensitive data that would prohibit free sharing of a library built with it.
The new Nangate cell library is free to use for all non-commercial purposes and is particularly suited to research programs and standards development organizations that have previously had free access only to libraries with much older process technologies. The Predictive Technology Model (PTM) from Arizona State University was used in conjunction with the PDK to characterize the 45nm standard-cell library. Research for developing the 45nm predictive models was also funded by SRC.
Prior to its release, the library was, in co-operation with Nangate, successfully validated by Fenix Design Automation.
The Open Modeling Coalition (OMC) under Si2 will use the Nangate library as an integral part of the reference flow for library characterization, modeling, and model usage while Nangate will work with OMC to maintain and define future standards for library flow interfaces.
"Nangate is active in several Si2 initiatives such as the OMC SSTA Working Group, the Technical Steering Group and we are also an adopter of OpenAccess," said Jesper Knudsen, VP Marketing at Nangate. "With our Library Creator(TM), in which we have invested heavily over the last years, we have a unique platform where the creation and maintenance of standard-cell libraries at 45nm and even below becomes relatively effortless compared to other methodologies in the industry. We are pleased to be able to contribute this missing element of the flow development puzzle," he concluded.
"This contribution from Nangate is a major step in filling a void that has existed for over 20 years. This library will serve academic researchers who are developing EDA algorithms targeted for our newest technology nodes. This effort is a classic example of successful cooperation between several organizations. In addition, having the continued support of Nangate and its automated library creation tools ensures that our standards are kept current with ever-changing process developments," said Sumit DasGupta, Senior Vice-president of Engineering at Si2.
"We were very excited to see that Nangate independently chose to contribute new material to the FreePDK45 effort. We hope others in the user community follow their lead," said Rhett Davis of NCSU, the principal investigator of the FreePDK45 project.
"Our member companies were very supportive of the FreePDK45 initiative and see it as a means to accelerate academic research in IC design. We are pleased that Nangate has chosen to be the first to develop and provide a free cell library," said Dale Edwards, an industry assignee to SRC from AMD.
Nangate will demonstrate the Library Creator and the creation of the FreePDK45-based standard cells at the 12th OpenAccess+ Conference taking place April 16th in San Jose, California.
The Open Cell Library can be obtained directly from Si2 at https://www.si2.org/openeda.si2.org/projects/nangatelib/ or from www.opencelllibrary.org. The FreePDK45 can be obtained directly from NCSU at www.eda.ncsu.edu
Nangate develops and markets Electronic Design Automation (EDA) software and physical library IP. Through the merger of physical synthesis and cell library creation, the company provides a unique alternative to one-size-fits-all standard-cell libraries and offers a low-risk alternative to full custom chip design. Nangate software provides a complete environment to optimize designs for performance while minimizing power consumption, die area, and time to market.
Si2 is an organization of industry-leading semiconductor, systems, EDA, and manufacturing companies focused on improving the way integrated circuits are designed and manufactured in order to speed time-to-market, reduce costs, and meet the challenges of sub-micro design. Si2 is uniquely positioned to enable collaboration through a strong implementation focus driven by its member companies. Si2 focuses on developing practical technology solutions to industry challenges. Si2 represents companies involved in all parts of the silicon supply chain throughout the world.
Celebrating 26 years of collaborative research for the semiconductor industry, SRC defines industry needs, invests in and manages the research that gives its members a competitive advantage in the dynamic global marketplace. Awarded the National Medal of Technology, America's highest recognition for contributions to technology, SRC expands the industry knowledge base and attracts premier students to help innovate and transfer semiconductor technology. For more information, visit www.src.org.
All trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Silicon Integration Initiative
Wlliam Bayer, (+1) 512-342-2244, ext. 304
Jesper Knudsen, (+45) 4452 1401
Scott Stevens, (+1) 512-413-9540