A process design kit (PDK) is a set of files used within the semiconductor industry to model a fabrication process for the design tools used to design an integrated circuit. The PDK is created by the foundry defining a certain technology variation for their processes. It is then passed to their customers to use in the design process. The customers may enhance the PDK, tailoring it to their specific design styles and markets. The designers use the PDK to design, simulate, draw and verify the design before handing the design back to the foundry to produce chips. The data in the PDK is specific to the foundry's process variation and is chosen early in the design process, influenced by the market requirements for the chip. An accurate PDK will increase the chances of first-pass successful silicon.

Description Edit

Different tools in the design flow have different input formats for the PDK data. The PDK engineers have to decide which tools they will support in the design flows and create the libraries and rule sets which support those flows.

A typical PDK contains:

  • A primitive device library
    • Symbols
    • Device parameters
    • PCells
  • Verification checks
  • Technology data
    • Layers, layer names, layer/purpose pairs
    • Colors, fills and display attributes
    • Process constraints
    • Electrical rules
  • Rule files
    • LEF
    • Tool dependent rule formats
  • Simulation models of primitive devices (SPICE or SPICE derivatives)
    • Transistors (typically SPICE)
    • Capacitors
    • Resistors
    • Inductors
  • Design Rule Manual
    • A user friendly representation of the process requirements

A PDK may also include standard cell libraries from the foundry, a library vendor or developed internally

  • LEF format of abstracted layout data
  • Symbols
  • Library (.lib) files
  • GDSII layout data

References Edit

Further reading Edit

  • Yu Cao, "Predictive process design kits", ch. 8 in, Predictive Technology Model for Robust Nanoelectronic Design, Springer Science & Business Media, 2011 ISBN 1461404452.
  • Lukas Chrostowski, Michael Hochberg, "Process design kit (PDK)", section 10.1 in, Silicon Photonics Design, Cambridge University Press, 2015 ISBN 1107085454.
  • Michael Liehr et al., "Silicon photonics integrated circuit process design kit", section 4.8 in, Alan Willner (ed), Optical Fiber Telecommunications, vol. 11, Elsevier, 2019 ISBN 0128165022.
  • Ian Robertson, Nutapong Somjit, Mitchai Chongcheawchamnan, "Process design kits for RFIC and MMIC design", section 17.8.1 in, Microwave and Millimetre-Wave Design for Wireless Communications, John Wiley & Sons, 2016 ISBN 1118917219.