Hsin-Chu, Taiwan, September 16, 1998- Simplex Solutions, Inc. and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) announced today that TSMC has validated the accuracy of Simplex "Fire & Ice" extraction tools with silicon. TSMC found the results to be within 10 percent of silicon measurements on a test chip manufactured with TSMC's 0.25 micron logic process. TSMC is the first semiconductor foundry to successfully use the COSMIC approach on 0.25 micron process.
The test chip used the COSMIC standard, which is an "active" approach to measuring capacitance at the femtoFarad level. COSMIC uses an on-chip sensor circuit for the measurements, achieving accurate capacitance values that are 1,000 times finer than can be obtained with other, passive approaches. The passive approach, which measures capacitances accurately to only the picoFarad range, is not sufficient for the microscopic scale of deep submicron wires in today's chips.
"Now that we've validated Fire & Ice against actual silicon, our customers will be able to produce deep submicron designs with an unprecedented level of predictability in performance," stated Kurt Wolf, Director of Marketing, TSMC, USA. "The fact that Fire & Ice accuracy is consistent across process geometries means both TSMC and our customers can count on Simplex for 0.18 micron designs."
"More than 60% of foundry customers worldwide will have an extra measure of assurance in the performance and reliability of their chips now that TSMC, the market-leading foundry, has adopted the COSMIC approach and validated the accuracy of our interconnect extraction software," said Jan Willis, vice president of corporate marketing and business development at Simplex.
TSMC (ADS traded NYSE: TSM, also traded on TSE) is the world's largest dedicated integrated circuit (IC) foundry and offers a comprehensive set of IC fabrication processes, including processes to manufacture CMOS logic, mixed-mode, volatile and non-volatile memory and BiCMOS chips. Currently, TSMC operates two six-inch wafer fabs (Fab 1 and 2) and three eight-inch wafer fabs (Fab 3, 4, and 5), all located in Hsin-Chu, Taiwan. In mid-1998, TSMC announced that production wafers were being delivered from its first U.S. foundry, WaferTech, a joint venture with Altera, Analog Devices and Integrated Silicon Solutions, Inc. The company has broken ground in the new Tainan Park which will house Fabs 6 and 7. TSMC's corporate headquarters are in Taiwan. More information about TSMC is available through the World Wide Web at http://www.tsmc.com.
Simplex Solutions, Inc. is a pioneer in the new market for deep submicron full-chip interconnect verification. The company currently develops full-chip IC extraction and analysis software, used worldwide by companies developing microprocessors and integrated circuits (ICs) to ensure chip performance and reliability. Simplex works closely with semiconductor foundries Chartered, IBM, NEC, TSMC, Toshiba and UMC to develop extraction models and validate extraction accuracy. The company's investors include Attractor Investment Management, Intel Corporation, Mayfield Fund, Sumitomo Corporation, and Worldview Technology Partners. Simplex can be reached at (408) 617-6100 or on the web at http://www.simplex.com. Fire & Ice is a trademark of Simplex Solutions, Inc. The COSMIC test structures (COmprehensive Semiconductor Measurement of Interconnect Capacitance) are available to the industry free of charge at http://www.simplex.com/cosmic.