October 24, 2005
TCAD - Technology CAD
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predictive capabilities of ISE's software with Synopsys' design tools will help Synopsys customers achieve the highest possible yields by tuning their designs to the precise characteristics of a particular process. Synopsis has been working to integrate ISE products with Synopsys' own TCAD offering. Wolfgang Fichtner, founder and former CEO of ISE, is now VP of Engineering and GM of TCAD at Synopsys. I had a chance for a sneak peak before the October 17th announcement of the merged product with Terry Ma, Director of Product Marketing for TCAD.
What can you tell me about the new product?
We are introducing a new generation integrated TCAD simulation tool suite called Sentaurus to be released October 17th. Back in November 2004 we acquired a company called ISE, a leader in the TCAD simulation world. Sentaurus is the result of our merger and integration of the two platforms, the existing Synopsys TCAD platform and the new ISE platform together to form one platform that will allow us not only to address the traditional whole TCAD area but also moving us down into manufacturing. We are working on some exciting tools that will move manufacturing knowledge into the design.
During the past 6 to 9 months we have integrated some of these best in class features from both of these tool sets into this new platform called Sentaurus, combining the advanced calibrated, the key word is calibrated, physical models with robust algorithms software implementation providing you with self-consistent 2D and 3D modeling capability. We have put all that into a single platform that allows you to simulate very accurately and at the same time gives you the predictive power of simulations to look at the process and device characteristics. This new platform along with new capabilities for doing TCAD for manufacturing sets a new standard for TCAD simulation.
and LED and related things like CMOS image sensors that are being used for camera phones and digital cameras. A lot of companies nowadays are moving from charge coupled devices to CMOS image sensors because of the cost. They need to be able to characterize them and optimize them. We can see that Technology CAD is not just for very deep submicron technologies. TCAD allows you to look at a full spectrum of technologies that you might be looking at from a chip comparison viewpoint.
process simulation capabilities. All that is built around a work bench technology that allows you to manage your simulation runs especially when you have a large number of simulations that you want to do like design of experiments. This allows you to mange and visualize the results.
manufacturing line. A critical aspect of simulation is to be able to look at the device characteristics and get more comprehensive knowledge of what you are dealing with.
to do sensitivity analysis and yield analysis. This will allow manufacturing engineers to improve the parametric yield by controlling the process and doing advanced process control.
In process simulation we model the implantation, diffusion and oxidation. These are fully calibrated with experimental results and equipment vendor data. That's why they are very predictive. You basically start from a full description and a layout through to full simulation. At this point you would run through the manufacturing line that starts in the fab and create the process structure. Once you have the process structure you can look at the electrical, optical, mechanical and magnetic behavior of the semiconductor devices. We can do static, time dependent, large and small signal, frequency dependent and large modeling; very comprehensive simulation capabilities.
In the integrated Sentaurus flow you describe the process just like you would do in a process recipe in a fab. You start with gate oxide on the substrate, poly gate deposition and then you go through your halo implants and all of that. You repeat all the processing steps until you get to the final structure including the CAT layers and all that. Once you have that information encapsulated in a process structure, then you can look at the electrical characteristics: threshold voltage, the leakage current, the drive current and so on and so forth.
when for example you have a narrow width effect or a short channel effect in your device.
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-- Jack Horgan, EDACafe.com Contributing Editor.
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