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Advanced Package Design: Inter-Domain Design Methodologies
Keywords: design, planning, optimization
Just as we transitioned from simplistic lead frames to large ball grid arrays decades ago, we find ourselves again at another inflection point in design. Originally a derivative of PCB design, IC package design finds itself straddling both PCB design and IC design. Dimensions have shrunk to place IC package design squarely in the same design dimensions as integrated circuits. Likewise, with Moores law rapidly losing steam with SOCs as a system design vehicle, advanced package technologies have been asked to fill the system enablement gap. We now see advanced packaging technologies with more silicon content as the system enabler in 2.5D, 3D and fanout wafer-level packaging. IC design flows and signoff mechanisms are being used to enable the next generation of systems. Package design finds itself in the forefront of system-level design enablement. Where once design aggregation was done in an SOC at the silicon level, packaging is being used to build the system from technology- optimized die that represent each functional area (memory, CPU, and interfaces). Silicon is no longer just a substrate material for IC manufacturing but a substrate and functional integration vehicle. As such, package design teams find themselves adding IC-based design flows and methodologies. Package designs look to the IC tools for routing, DRC, and signoff capabilities. Designers are looking for next generation EDA tools to support these new package integration and design challenges, including LVS checks and IC-based design rules. Rather than transitioning the design team from traditional packaging tools to IC tools entirely, we propose that users can look to complete design flows that merge the best-in-class capabilities from each of their respective design domains. Is this regard, the best-in- class capabilities can remain in their respective domains, and a design flow can be created that relies on tight integration and integrates both domains. Thes flows can leverage a single point of entry for design capture and system level management. Flows based on the system management tool and the appropriate features in each of the domains can be created that enable and optimize complex designs that meet physical, signal integrity, cost and performance requirements. This paper will describe how capabilities can be leveraged from both domains in a tightly coupled flow, overseen by an overall design management tool, to addrss the challenges of advanced and silicon- based packages.
William ACITO, IC Package Design Product Engineer
Cadence Design Systems
Chelmsford, Massachusetts
United States


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