MEMS+ 6.0 takes on MEMS/IoT integration challenges

We announced the release of the latest version of our MEMS+ design platform this week, MEMS+ 6.0. This release contains many new features and performance improvements that existing customers will appreciate as well as new capabilities that address key challenges of integrating MEMS with IoT devices. There’s far too much to talk about in one blog, so we will focus this one on why MEMS are critical to IoT and the key MEMS/IoT integration challenges MEMS+ 6.0 addresses. Subsequent blogs will expand on each of these challenges and our solutions.

First, let’s talk about the IoT, or Internet of Things. Unless you’ve been marooned on a remote island for a few years, you know that the IoT is the tech topic du jour, subject of much hype as well as growing reality. The IoT spans a wide range of technologies, including smart devices that interact with their environment, wireless technologies, internet infrastructure, big data, cloud infrastructure, software infrastructure, and software applications. It is widely acknowledged that low-cost sensors in general and MEMS in particular are a key enabler if not a defining characteristic of IoT.  A recent McKinsey report titled The Internet of Things: Mapping the Value Beyond the Hype states: “We define IoT as sensors and actuators connected by networks to computing systems. These systems can monitor or manage the health and actions of connected objects and machines. Connected sensors can also monitor the natural world, people, and animals.” The report goes on to say, under the topic of technology enablers: “Low-cost, low-power sensors are essential, and the price of MEMS (micro-electromechanical systems) sensors, which are used in smartphones, has dropped by 30 to 70 percent in the past five years.” The smart phones that most of us now keep with us 24/7 epitomize the first of many new IoT devices. They are packed with sensors, most notably MEMS motion sensors (accelerometers and gyroscopes) and MEMS microphones, and connect to the internet. Without MEMS, there would be no IoT or certainly less IoT.

For the now, say the next couple years, most IoT devices will be designed around available MEMS-based packaged parts with digital interfaces. The integration of the MEMS sensing elements with surrounding analog/mixed-signal (A/MS) electronics will be handled by the MEMS suppliers and the IoT designers only have to deal with sensor integration at the digital design and software/firmware levels. Looking ahead though, say three years and beyond, it’s a safe bet that market demands and competitive pressures will require IoT devices with lower cost, smaller size, lower power and higher performance. All those good things can only happen with a higher level of multi-technology integration at the package, wafer and die levels. There will be more MEMS devices on each die and more integration of MEMS and A/MS through wafer bonding. And there will be more integration of multiple technologies such as MEMS, A/MS, digital logic, memory and RF within a package through tried-and-true wire bonding and evolving through-silicon-via (TSV) technology. Developers of high-volume consumer IoT devices will lead the charge, but sooner or later the higher package-level integration demands will reach all market segments. For this increasing package-level integration to come to pass, IoT developers will require the sophisticated MEMS integration like the solutions that Coventor offers.

Here are the three key MEMS/IoT integration challenges that MEMS+ 6.0 addresses:

  • Provide a robust design flow for including MEMS in system designs in the MathWorks environment and circuit design in the Cadence environment;
  • Provide a platform for MEMS Process Design Kits (PDKs) to accelerate growth of the fabless/fab-lite business model for MEMS; and
  • Accurately predicting packaging effects on MEMS sensors (see my recent editorial in Chip Scale Review on this topic).

I’ll expand on each of these challenges and how MEMS+ 6.0 addresses them in future blogs.

MEMS+ model in MATLAB

Visualization of 3-axis MEMS gyro, courtesy of Murata Oy, simulated with MEMS+ model in MATLAB

Coventor Announces MEMS+ 6.0 Platform for MEMS/IoT Integration

Newest Version of Industry-Leading MEMS Design Tool Accelerates Development of Customized, Highly Integrated Sensors for the Internet of Things

CARY, NC– October 5, 2015 – Coventor®, Inc., the leading supplier of MEMS design automation solutions, today announced the immediate availability of MEMS+® 6.0, the latest version of its industry-leading MEMS design platform. MEMS+ 6.0 is a significant advance toward a MEMS design automation flow that complements the well-established CMOS design flow, enabling faster integration of MEMS with electronics and packaging. MEMS+ 6.0 features new enablement of MEMS process design kits (PDKs) and second-generation model reduction capabilities.

“The fast growing Internet of Things market will increasingly require customization of MEMS sensors and customized package-level integration to achieve lower power, higher performance, smaller form factors, and lower costs” said Dr. Stephen R. Breit, Vice President of Engineering at Coventor. “MEMS+6.0 is focused on enabling rapid customization and integration of MEMS while enforcing design rules and technology constraints.”

With MEMS+ 6.0, users can create a technology-defined component library that imposes technology constraints and design rules during design entry, resulting in a “correct-by-construction” methodology. This new approach reduces design errors and enables MEMS foundries to offer MEMS Process Design Kits (PDKs) to fabless MEMS designers. Both parties will benefit, with submitted designs having fewer errors, and ultimately fewer design spins and fab cycles required to bring new and derivative products to market.

“We have collaborated with Coventor in defining the requirements for MEMS PDKs for MEMS+” said Joerg Doblaski, Director of Design Support at X-FAB Semiconductor Foundries. “We see the new capabilities in MEMS+ 6.0 as a big step toward a robust MEMS design automation flow that will reduce time to market for fabless MEMS developers and their foundry partners.”

MEMS+6.0 also includes a second-generation model reduction capability with export to MathWorks Simulink® as well as the Verilog-A format. The resulting reduced-order models (ROMs) simulate nearly as fast as simple hand-crafted models, but are far more accurate. This enables system and IC designers to include accurate, non-linear MEMS device models in their system- and circuit-level simulations. For the second generation, Coventor has greatly simplified the inputs for model reduction and automatically includes the key dynamic and electrostatic non-linear effects present in capacitive motion sensors such as accelerometers and gyroscopes. ROMs can be provided to partners without revealing critical design IP.

Additional advances in MEMS+ 6.0 include:

  • Support for design hierarchy, encouraging time-saving re-use of device sub-structures.
  • Refined support for including packaging effects in thermal stability analysis of sensors, reducing the impact ambient temperature can have on the thermal stability of sensor outputs such as zero offset in accelerometers and drift bias in gyros.
  • Improved modeling of devices that rely on piezo-electric effects for sensing. Interest in piezo sensing is growing because the underlying process technology for piezo materials has matured and the potential benefits over capacitive sensing, the current market champion.
  • An expanded MATLAB scripting interface that now allows design entry as well as simulation control.

The MEMS+ 6.0 software is shipping now. For more detailed product information and to download the new software release, users can visit:

About Coventor
Coventor, Inc. is the market leader in automated design solutions for MEMS and virtual fabrication of MEMS and semiconductor technologies. Coventor serves a worldwide customer base of integrated device manufacturers, fabless design houses, independent foundries, and R&D organizations. Its customers include developers of MEMS and semiconductor components and subsystems for the consumer electronics, automotive, aerospace, industrial, and defense markets. Components developed with our software are used in mobile phones, tablets, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, cars, and many other applications. Coventor’s software tools and expertise enable its customers to simulate and optimize semiconductor and MEMS fabrications processes and device designs before committing to time-consuming and costly silicon learning cycles. The company is headquartered in Cary, North Carolina and has offices in California’s Silicon Valley, Waltham, Massachusetts, and Paris, France. More information is available at


Coventor and SEMulator3D are registered trademarks of Coventor, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Note to Editors: Digital images are available.

For more information, contact:
Toni Sottak
(408) 876-4418


SPIE Advanced Lithography – February 21-25, 2016 San Jose, CA

SPIE Advanced Lithography ConferenceVisit Coventor in Booth # 227

SPIE Advanced Lithography is the world’s premier semiconductor lithography event. For over 40 years, SPIE has brought together industry leaders to solve the latest challenges in lithography and patterning in the semiconductor industry.





Package-Level Integration of MEMS in IoT Devices

csr-logoBy  Dr. Stephen Breit | Vice President of Engineering, Coventor

ChipScale Review September – October 2015

The trend of integrating heterogeneous technologies at the package level is now well underway, and includes MEMS sensors. Heterogeneous package-level integration arguably reached a new level with the release of the Apple Watch. A Chipworks teardown shows more than 30 die in Apple’s S1 package. Curiously, among the few components that are not included in the S1 package are a MEMS inertial measurement unit (IMU) by ST Microelectronics and MEMS microphones by Knowles. Surely Apple and other IoT device makers will strive to achieve higher-density, package-level integration of MEMS sensors in the future, but will need to overcome specific packaging challenges associated with MEMS.

read full article or download and view the pdf here



Senior Software Engineer, 3D Modeling in C++ – Waltham, MA

Senior Software Engineer, 3D Modeling in C++ – Waltham, MA

Coventor, Inc. is seeking a software engineer with significant C++ experience. As a key member of our modeling engine team, you will extend and improve our software, working with others to implement new physics-based 3D modeling algorithms while keeping the code modular, reusable and efficient. You will join a collaborative, highly skilled software development team working on our innovative software tools and solutions for the semiconductor and MEMS manufacturing industries. Our software uses unique, highly efficient numerical modeling and simulation techniques to perform virtual fabrication of state-of-the-art semiconductor and MEMS devices. This is a hands-on software development position, requiring proficiency in C++. Your title, level of responsibility, creative freedom and salary will be commensurate with your education and experience.

Responsibilities include:

  • Collaborate to implement new 3D modeling algorithms for semiconductor fabrication processes in our C++ modeling engine.
  • Extend and maintain our generic, C++ template-based modeling framework.
  • Optimize modeling algorithms for speed, including profiling and parallel implementation.
  • Participate in requirements gathering, specification and verification.
  • Contribute to the overall software product, including application infrastructure, GUI and Python scripting APIs.
  • Participate in general software engineering tasks, including verification, testing, bug fixing and maintenance of existing code.

Required Qualifications:

  • BS in Engineering, Physics, Computer Science or a related field. Advanced degree is a plus.
  • Minimum of 4 years work experience in commercial software development.
  • Expert level C++ skills, including implementation of template classes and/or template meta-programming.
  • Experience with 3D modeling algorithms (voxels, meshes, geometry, graphics).
  • Demonstrated ability to design and implement clean, well-organized production code.
  • Working knowledge of object oriented design principles.
  • Desire to collaborate, contribute to, and learn from a team.

Experience in any of the following would be a bonus:

  • General knowledge of semiconductor processing technology.
  • Exposure to numerical algorithms (finite differences, etc.).
  • Experience with cross-platform development, on Windows and Linux.
  • Experience with one or more of: Boost, STL, C++11 or later, Python.

This regular, full-time position is located in Waltham, MA. Coventor offers comprehensive benefits and is an EEO/AA Employer. You must be a current legal resident of the U.S. or have a valid U.S. visa to apply for this position. Please e-mail your cover letter and resume to

Senior Software Engineer, UI and Infrastructure – Waltham, MA

Senior Software Engineer, UI and Infrastructure – Waltham, MA

Do you have a passion for crafting elegant solutions to programming challenges? Do you enjoy software design, architecture and working with other engineers? If so, Coventor needs your contributions to our 3D modeling and visualization application. You will join a truly collaborative, highly skilled development team and will contribute to both design and implementation. Our semiconductor process modeling software is revolutionizing the way that leading chip manufacturers around the world develop advanced fabrication processes. In contrast to working in large organizations, your contributions will make a difference; your tasks will cover a broad scope and will be crucial to the success of our product.

Responsibilities include:

  • Participate in ground-up re-engineering of our application with a new modular, extensible C++ object-oriented architecture
  • Work with and improve on our generic C++ template-based application framework
  • Implement new software features in C++ and Python, including unit testing
  • Participate in our Agile software development process
  • Possibility to contribute to 3D visualization, modeling algorithms, and many other software areas appropriate to your talents and goals

Required Qualifications:

  • BS or MS in Computer Science or a related discipline
  • Minimum 3 years of experience in a professional software development environment
  • Strong C++ coding skills, including a working knowledge of the STL
  • Aptitude for object oriented design
  • Experience implementing user interfaces with Qt, GTK+, wxWidgets or similar cross-platform frameworks
  • Willingness to collaborate, contribute to, and learn from a team
  • Ability to learn new technologies and solve problems effectively

Experience in the following areas would be a bonus:

  • Expert level knowledge of Linux is a strong plus
  • Commercial software development experience with Python
  • Application development in scientific simulation or visualization
  • Experience in distributed computing
  • Experience developing cloud-based software applications
  • Experience with OpenGL and/or 3D visualization

This regular, full-time position is located in Waltham, MA. Coventor offers comprehensive benefits and is an EEO/AA Employer. You must be a current legal resident of the U.S. or have a valid U.S. visa to apply for this position. Please e-mail your resume to

MEMS Executive Congress – November 4 – 6, 2015, Napa, CA

MEMS Executive Congress US 2015The MEMS Executive Congress brings together industry experts as they break down the challenges and opportunities of the MEMS and sensors industry. MEMS Executive Congress is the only MEMS & Sensors event where executives have the opportunity to talk shop, make deals, engage with competitors, and relax with colleagues – all in one place. Coventor is sponsoring the post-dinner cocktail reception.

SEMICON Europa 2015 – October 6-8, 2015 – Dresden, Germany

SCEU15Visit Coventor at booth #1609

SEMICON Europa features highly technical content specific to the manufacture of microelectronics (Semiconductors, Photovoltaic, MEMS, flat panel displays, and much more).