Author Archives: Sandra Liu

From Movies to Data Analysis – Coventor’s SEMulator 3D Pivots

If you’ve been paying attention to the various papers at various advanced semiconductor process conferences, there’s a name you’re seeing more and more: Coventor. We’ve looked at them several times before, in the context of both their SEMulator 3D tool and their MEMS+ tool – the former for development of new semiconductor processes and the latter for designing MEMS devices.

Today we’re focusing on the SEMulator 3D tool, whose 6.1 version was recently announced. We’re doing so because the tool has turned a corner on how it’s used. Before going there, let’s talk about where we’ve been first in order to set the stage.

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Silicon Photonics: Solving Process Variation and Manufacturing Challenges

By: Sandy Wen, Principal Engineer

As silicon photonics manufacturing gains momentum with additional foundry and 300mm offerings, process variation issues are coming to light. Variability in silicon processing affects the waveguide shape and can result in deviation in effective indices, propagation loss, and coupling efficiency from the intended design. In this article, we will highlight process variation issues that can occur in silicon photonics manufacturing and discuss techniques to mitigate these effects.

Figure 1. Example test photonic IC, with common elements such as waveguides, grating coupler, MZI, photodetector and fill pattern.

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What’s After FinFETs?

By Mark LaPedus

Chipmakers are readying their next-generation technologies based on 10nm and/or 7nm finFETs, but it’s still not clear how long the finFET will last, how long the 10nm and 7nm nodes for high-end devices will be extended, and what comes next.

The industry faces a multitude of uncertainties and challenges at 5nm, 3nm and beyond. Even today, traditional chip scaling continues to slow as process complexities and costs escalate at each node. As a result, fewer customers can afford to design chips around advanced nodes.

read the full article here.

“Problems and Solutions at 7nm” – David Fried Video Interview with Semiconductor Engineering

David Fried, Chief Technology Officer of Coventor, has a discussion with Ed Sperling of Semiconductor Engineering about what’s going on at 7nm, and some of the problems that we’re starting to experience at both 7nm and 5nm.


[Video Attribution: Semiconductor Engineering] read more…

The Future of MEMS Design: Making MEMS Design More Like CMOS Design

By: Christine Dufour, MEMS PDK Program Manager

MEMS-based component suppliers want to rapidly ramp their designs into high-volume production.  This demand is driving MEMS suppliers to focus on ways to more efficiently re-use established process steps, stacks or technology platforms. To meet this need, we see the emergence of standard MEMS technology and design platforms similar to those used in CMOS design.

The semiconductor industry and EDA vendors have established integrated design environments based on PDKs (Process Design Kits), standard cell libraries, memory architectures, and IP, to give easy access to the technology for IC designers and increase chances of first-pass successful silicon. Coventor’s vision is that the MEMS eco system and MEMS EDA software vendors should play a similar role in accelerating MEMS product development. read more…

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3D Model-Based Process Control for the Future of Smart Manufacturing

David Fried’s, CTO of Coventor, gave a presentation entitled “3D Model-Based Process Control for the Future of Smart Manufacturing” at SEMICON West 2017.

Listen to this presentation to gain an understanding of high-speed 3D process modeling and how model-based process control can be used to improve process yield of advanced semiconductor technologies.

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Scaling the Analytic Mountains – How Big Data is Changing the Course of the Semiconductor Industry

By Amelia Dalton

It’s coming. He knows it is. It’s only a matter of time before it buries him. His story is not unique. It’s been played out in our industry over and over again. He’s suffering from BUAMODS – or – Buried Under A Mountain Of Data Syndrome. But what’s the cure for this ailment? How do we dig ourselves out from underneath this mountain of analytics? In this week’s episode of Fish Fry, we strike at the very heart of this issue. Dr David Fried (CTO – Coventor) joins us to discuss how big analytics are changing the course of the semiconductor industry. We talk about the value of process variant experiments and how process modeling will affect the future of advanced 3-D technologies. Also this week, we check out a new 3-D prototype chip from MIT and Stanford University that combines data storage and computing in a single chip with a little help from multiple nanotechnologies.

Listen to this episode of fish fry here

The move to 7nm pushes design to new limits

While chipmakers are keen to move to the 7nm node, the use of ‘tricks’ to extend the life of optical lithography, amidst a continuing wait for EUV, is piling up the design challenges.

“In the last five to six years, we have gone through six to seven nodes, starting with variants of 28nm,” said Balaji Velikandanathan, quality engineer at Qualcomm, in a panel session at June’s Design Automation Conference. “We are talking about [moving from] inception to tapeout in nine months and [introducing] a new process node every year.”

Qualcomm wants to move to 7nm to push frequency to 3GHz and reduce power by 30%, compared to the 10nm Snapdragon 835 used in phones such as the HTC U11.

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