The Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute (TSRI) has partnered with Synopsys Taiwan to accelerate the development of next-generation semiconductors, with researchers being allowed to use the chip design company’s simulation tools, the National Applied Research Laboratories said yesterday.
The institute is one of eight laboratories of the national research agency.
The institute has signed a contract with Synopsys that allows researchers to use its simulation software — Sentaurus TCAD and Quantum ATK — free of charge, the agency said in a news release.
The Synopsys Web site describes Sentaurus TCAD as an advanced 1D, 2D and 3D process simulator for developing and optimizing chip process technologies, and Quantum ATK as an atomic-scale modeling application that enables large-scale, highly realistic material simulations.
The tools allow developers to test a chip virtually before producing a prototype, which reduces the cost of research and development, minimizes the need for experimentation with prototypes and optimizes design and manufacturing processes, the agency said.
As chips are introduced to more product categories, semiconductor manufacturing has become increasingly complex, prompting researchers to search for new materials and component structures, the agency quoted institute director-general Yeh Wen-kuan (葉文冠) as saying.
Yeh was a professor in National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University’s International College of Semiconductor Technology and worked in the research-and-development departments of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co and United Microelectronics Co.
To reduce development costs, using computer-aided design tools has become a trend in semiconductor research, he said.
Through the project with Synopsys, the institute aims to help researchers improve semiconductor materials and component design by making precise models, Yeh said, adding that the project would hopefully contribute to the introduction of new techniques and help the Taiwanese chip sector become more competitive.
The company has a long history of cooperation with the institute, Synopsys president Robert Li (李明哲) was quoted as saying.
The two entities last year launched an artificial intelligence system-on-chip design and verification platform, and in March hosted a seminar on Sentaurus TCAD techniques, he said.
Building on their existing cooperation, the company hopes that the use of its tools in the institute would also contribute to local talent cultivation, Li said.
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