editor's blog
Subscribe Now

Simulating the Whole Process

Back when discussion CMOS-compatible MEMS, I briefly mentioned a couple tools from Coventor that are used in MEMS design. But one of them actually has use for any semiconductor process. You might think it’s another TCAD tool, but actually, it isn’t.

TCAD tools work with low-level physics to model small portions of an overall process. It’s like using SPICE to simulate a cell – very detailed, but can’t be used on an entire circuit. Likewise, you typically wouldn’t run a TCAD tool across an entire process from start to finish.

That’s what Coventor’s SEMulator3D does. It’s abstracted up one layer, and can be used to animate – literally – the entire process of building a transistor or other device. They do this using “voxels” – the 3D equivalent of a pixel. The sides of a voxel are sized so that there are 2-4 of them within the minimum feature size. The properties of each voxel include materials information, and there can be mixes and gradients so that there’s no pretense of a particular volume consisting of only one material.

Throughout the steps of the process, voxels are added (e.g., deposition), modified (e.g., implant), or deleted (e.g., etch). Some chemical interactions can be modeled (for example, if you ended up etching something you hadn’t intended); some can’t (for example, if copper is on bare silicon, resulting in electromigration). All of the effects are correlated with actual silicon.

The process description input to the tool is separate from the layout of a given circuit, so you can develop a “regression suite” of layouts. When you want to consider a process change, you can then apply it across the suite to see if it causes any problems in any of them. It can support layouts containing even thousands of transistors.

Their recent news is that they’ve now released a 64-bit version. This allows bigger areas to be simulated, or the use of smaller voxels – important as dimensions continue to shrink.

You can find more in their release

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Aug 8, 2022
Cadence is honored to partner with The National Graduate Engineering Minorities Consortium (GEM) as part of our mission to foster a diverse workforce in the STEM community. Throughout its four-decade history, GEM has connected bright and talented young minds from underreprese...
Aug 3, 2022
With the completion of the Azure Sky wind farm in Texas, we explore the impact of renewable energy, waste reduction, and more on our sustainability efforts. The post A Change in the Wind: Synopsys’ Sustainability Efforts Grow with a Wind Farm in Texas appeared first on...
Jul 27, 2022
It's easy to envisage a not-so-distant future when sophisticated brain-computer interfaces become available for general-purpose infotainment use....

featured video

Making Cars Safe, Secure, and Reliable

Sponsored by Cadence Design Systems

Cadence has worked closely with customers to meet the challenges of designing and verifying automotive components, subsystems, and entire systems. A holistic design approach ensures that the vehicle meets performance requirements while adhering to automotive quality, safety, and security standards early in the design cycle. Discover Cadence innovations specifically around CFD and thermal, system analysis, PCB/ECU design, processor IP, system verification, functional safety and 3D-IC design.

Click here to learn more

featured chalk talk

Enabling Digital Transformation in Electronic Design with Cadence Cloud

Sponsored by Cadence Design Systems

With increasing design sizes, complexity of advanced nodes, and faster time to market requirements - design teams are looking for scalability, simplicity, flexibility and agility. In today’s Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Mahesh Turaga about the details of Cadence’s end to end cloud portfolio, how you can extend your on-prem environment with the push of a button with Cadence’s new hybrid cloud and Cadence’s Cloud solutions you can help you from design creation to systems design and more.

Click here for more information about Cadence Cloud Portfolio