Cadence PDK FAQ

Question: What does PDK stand for?
Answer: Process Design Kit
Question: What is a GLOBALFOUNDRIES PDK?
Answer: A GLOBALFOUNDRIES PDK is a process specific analog/mixed signal library designed to work with the Cadence Custom IC tools and can be used to create analog mixed/signal integrated circuits.
Question: What does a PDK consist of?
Answer: A PDK includes technology files (LVS, DRC, Parasitic Extraction and Spice Models), device symbols, CDF, callbacks, Pcells, PV rule files, etc. Everything you need to do analog and Mixed Signal designs.
Question: Why are we making PDK's available?
Answer: In order to help our customers meet time to market constraints, we are providing them with a seamless transition from design to silicon.
Question: What are the benefits of a PDK?
Answer: Quicker time-to-silicon, time-to-production
- Access to latest GLOBALFOUNDRIES processes
- Access to productive Cadence Custom IC software tools and technologies
- Consistent support files linking GLOBALFOUNDRIES's process to the Cadence Custom IC
  Design flow, tools and methodologies
- Maintenance and support program
- Customer can focus on getting tape out instead of building and supporting a design kit themselves
Question: What type of designs are PDK's intended for? Custom Design, Semi-Custom?
Answer: PDK's support the Cadence Custom IC design flow. This design flow is focused primarily for the analog/mixed-signal marketplace.
Question: Can we use the PDK's with a logic/digital design?
Answer: Yes, the Cadence Custom IC design flow is also used by customers for other types of custom and semi-custom designs.
Question: Who owns the PDK's?
Answer: Cadence owns the source files of the PDK. GLOBALFOUNDRIES owns all process technology information and DRC/LVS and parasitic extraction run sets as well as spice models.
Question: Does it cost anything to use the PDK?
Answer: No, but the customer must have access to Cadence design tools.
Question: How does a customer become authorized to access GLOBALFOUNDRIES's PDKs?
Answer: 1. Customer contacts GLOBALFOUNDRIES Account manager with request for specific PDK.
2. GLOBALFOUNDRIES Account Manager makes sure an appropriate NDA is in place.
3. GLOBALFOUNDRIES Account Manager submits the Cadence PDK On-Line Request Form.
4. Cadence is notified to grant access to PDK download for customer.
5. In parallel, customer must also register at the Cadence PDK website (
6. Customer will receive email notification from Cadence with download instructions within 4 days.
Question: Where can I find information on the PDK? Documentation? Training?
Answer: GLOBALFOUNDRIES Process Design Kit
Question: Where can I find the schedules for different technology nodes?
Answer: GLOBALFOUNDRIES Process Design Kit
Question: Are you planning PDK for all technologies and technology variations?
Answer: We intend to provide PDK's for the baseline processes only i.e 0.35um, 0.25um, 0.18um, 0.13um & 90nm
Question: What standard cell libraries may be used in conjunction with the PDK?
Answer: Synopsys & Artisan standard cell Libraries can be used with the PDK. GLOBALFOUNDRIES is currently working with these vendors to ensure techfile alignment.
Question: How do I obtain a PDK for a derivative process?
Answer: Cadence can provide this as a consulting service to the customer.
Question: Does support of the PDK, imply support of Cadence tools?
Answer: GLOBALFOUNDRIES has partnered with Cadence to make the PDKs available to the benefit of our common customer base. GLOBALFOUNDRIES will continue to partner with Cadence and others to provide additional benefits to our customers.
Question: Is Assura going to be GLOBALFOUNDRIES's standard PDK offering?
Answer: No, ASSURA is just one of several tools that are provided on GLOBALFOUNDRIES's PDK platform. Our PDK supports DIVA and ASSURA and from September onwards will also support Dracula (LVS). Support for Assura as well as the other Cadence analog/mixed-signal tools are provided by the PDK.
Question: What is the support model for the PDK's? Where's first line support for PDK's?
Answer: Customer's with an active support agreement at Cadence should contact Cadence through the Cadence Support Telephone Hotline or website Customer support contacts. For specific PDK related concerns contact Cadence through Cadence is responsible for primary support to the end customers for all questions relating to PDK's and Cadence tools. This includes issues pertaining to the contents of the PDK, use of the PDK, associated documentation, training and the use of Cadence tools.
Question: How often do you update the PDKs? How do I get notified?
Answer: Quarterly, normally in the second week of a new quarter. Cadence will notify existing users via email.
Question: What is the PDK QA process and who is responsible?
Answer: Upon completion or modification of a PDK, Cadence performs a thorough validation of the individual components of the PDK. This includes regression testing as well as automated and manual tests for schematic, simulation, layout and verification.
Question: Can the DRC decks contained in the PDKs be used for sign off?
Answer: The DRC decks for Cadence's Assura, Diva and Dracula tools may be used for customer design and customer verification of their design prior to sending their GDSII to GLOBALFOUNDRIES. GLOBALFOUNDRIES uses Mentor's Calibre tool for foundry sign off.
Question: Can we have a copy of the demo?
Answer: An on-line demo of the PDK functionality is available at:
This demo is Cadence proprietary property. Customers can also contact their local Cadence representative to arrange for an on-site demo.
Question: Do we have design kits available for other Design tools?
Answer: Not at this time.
Question: How do I know which version of process documents (e.g., Spice Model, DR's, EP, etc.) are contained in the PDK?
Answer: This information is contained in the PDK Specification which is downloadable with each PDK.
(e.g Filename : csm18rf_libSpec.pdf).
Question: How do I learn more about the functionality of the PDK, e.g., Physical Verification switches, CDL netlisting, parasitic extraction switches, etc?
Answer: Again, this information is contained in the PDK Reference Manual which is downloadable with each PDK.


Corporate Responsibility

Read about our policies and commitment to our customers, employees and the environment.