SAN FRANCISCO — Semiconductor manufacturing equipment vendor Lam Research Corp. said it acquired Coventor Inc., a provider of modeling and simulation software for chip process technology. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal brings Lam (Fremont, Calif.) new capabilities to enable customers to address process technology challenges through software prior to fabricating a design on wafers in the fab.

Coventor (Cary, N.C.) claims its “virtual fabrication” technology enables process engineers to understand process variation effects early in the development of chip, reducing the number of silicon learning cycles necessary to bring a chip to market. Such capabilities become even more valuable as chip makers push scaling further and are confronted with daunting new technical hurdles.

Lam said the acquisition would support its process control vision and accelerate process integration simulation.

Mike Jamiolkowski
Mike Jamiolkowski

"We see a strong synergy between our modeling capability and Lam's desire to enable virtual experimentation of process development for customers and within its business units," said Mike Jamiolkowski, Coventor president and CEO, in a press statement.

"To keep pace with future design requirements, new technologies such as virtual fabrication and processing will be crucial to improve time to market," said Rick Gottscho, Lam's chief technical officer. "Together, our collective goal is to deliver more simulation, more virtual fabrication and an overall increase in computational techniques to support the development of next-generation transistors, memories, MEMS and IoT devices."

—Dylan McGrath is the editor-in-chief of EE Times.