Modeling as a Foundation for TSensors Acceleration

By Steve Breit, VP Engineering
November, 2014

I gave a talk with the same title as this blog at the TSensors Summit held in La Jolla, California on November 12-13. The ‘T’ in TSensors stands for Trillion Sensors and the TSensors Summit initiative is addressing the provocative question: what will it take to get to a worldwide market of a trillion sensors a year in the not-too-distant future, say 10 to 15 years from now. The TSensors initiative is being spearheaded by serial MEMS entrepreneur Janusz Bryzek who cites the book Abundance by Peter Diamandes and Steven Kotler as inspiration for TSensors. The key premise behind the book is that technology is advancing at such a fast rate, exponentially in fact, that we have the opportunity to provide abundant food, clean water, renewable energy and health care for everyone on earth within a generation. This is heady stuff, especially compared to the doom and gloom that pervades the daily news (if only political and cultural differences were as easy to resolve). Sensors of all types will play a key role in technological solutions to these pressing worldwide challenges.
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Finding the NBT(s) in IoT at MEC

By David Cook

The MEMS Executive Congress (MEC) is always a great event to mingle with the most influential people in our industry, and get a finger on the pulse of where we are heading. There are insightful talks from the heavy hitters who supply and use MEMS, interesting observations from the key analysts who track and forecast the market, and eye-opening presentations from innovative start-ups introducing novel applications for sensors and MEMS.

The clear take away from this year’s event is that sensors are at the center of huge new trend in the electronics industry. The Internet of Things (IoT), a catch-all description for any number of devices or applications that sense, capture, analyze and transmit data, is on everyone’s lips – and in their press releases. We heard discussions of Smart Everything – Smart Wearables, Smart Cars, Smart Homes, Smart Cities. And anything that enables those sorts of functions is highly dependent on MEMS and sensors. That is why there are so many charts showing hockey sticks going quickly up and to the right, predicting billions trillions of sensors being in our world soon. As the astute technology writer Kevin Morris said in his recent article, “…the proliferation of those sensors…will absolutely transform the electronics landscape again…”
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Software Development Engineer, 3D Geometry – Villebon sur Yvette (91), France

We are seeking a 3D geometry specialist, with a PhD or equivalent experience in 3D mesh generation, voxel modeling, or other similar geometry algorithms. Our voxel-based 3D modeling engine creates highly accurate, topologically complex models of nanometer-scale semiconductor devices. In this key position you will have the opportunity to research, evaluate and implement new algorithms for generating surface and volume meshes from our voxel models. This is a perfect role for candidates who are interested in advanced 3D mesh generation algorithms, and in software engineering in a commercial environment. You will work closely with our semiconductor process technology team to understand the technical requirements of our partners and customers, and your work will enable Coventor and our customers to interface with third-party software tools and partner companies

This is a hands-on software engineering position. You will have the chance to work on a young, innovative product and to work closely with a collaborative, skilled team in both Europe and the USA. Some travel is expected (less than 20%). You will report to the Director of Semiconductor R&D (US-based).

Responsibilities include:

  • Identify and prototype new 3D geometry algorithms for surface and/or volume mesh generation, mesh simplification, correction of self-intersections, etc.
  • Implement mesh generation algorithms in production, commercial C++ code
  • Implement model export features to convert voxel models and/or meshes to various third-party file formats
  • Unit testing and bug fixing
  • Collaborate with our applications team to define requirements for new software features
  • Help troubleshoot customer problems
  • Provide input to and review documentation, tutorials, and user training materials

Required Qualifications:

  • PhD degree in computer science related to 3D geometry, or equivalent work experience
  • Strong expertise in 3D geometry algorithms such as mesh generation, conformal mapping, or voxel modeling
  • Good fundamental 3D math skills, including vector math, matrix math, and transformations
  • Expert coding skills in C++
  • Strong aptitude for object oriented design
  • Ability to clearly communicate technical concepts
  • Must be able to read and understand technical articles and documentation written in English

Desirable Qualifications:

  • Any professional software development experience is a plus, preferably developing a 3D modeling software product
  • Experience with common C++ libraries and technologies such as boost, STL, C++11, template programming, etc.
  • Experience with semiconductor TCAD modeling software
  • Python coding skills

Salary, job title and responsibilities will be commensurate with experience. This opening is in Villebon sur Yvette (91), close to Paris. If you are interested in this opportunity and you are authorized to work in France, e-mail your resume in English to

Imec, Coventor partner to drive advanced CMOS process development through virtual fabrication

Imec researchers using Coventor’s SEMulator3D platform to model and optimize 7nm manufacturing technology

LEUVEN, Belgium & CARY, North Carolina – October 28, 2014 – Belgian nanoelectronics research center imec has announced a joint development project with Coventor, a leading supplier of semiconductor process development tools. The collaboration will enable faster and more optimized development of advanced manufacturing technology in the 3D device architecture era, extending down to imec’s 10- and 7-nanometer (nm) processes.
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Are Good Engineers Born or Bred?

By Steve Breit, V.P. Engineering

I’ve been doing a lot of interviewing over the last 6 months as we grow our engineering team. I often say that hiring is the most important part of my job and also the hardest part. Like any sensible technology company, Coventor wants to hire the best engineers we can find. Good engineers love engineering. They love to build, to create, to innovate, to solve problems. Good engineers are methodical and persistent, but also bring engineering judgment and intuition that helps them arrive at solutions efficiently. Good engineers can’t help doing engineering – it’s who they are. Over the years, I’ve observed that good engineers are way more productive than mediocre engineers. The difference in productivity can be astounding, in excess of 2 or 3X for the best engineers. The trick, at least during the hiring process, is to discern which candidates are the good engineers. You can’t just look at academic degrees, skills claimed, or work experience to tell the difference. read more…

MEMS+, Bringing MEMS into the Electronic World

by Paul McLellan, SemiWiki

One of the things about MEMS devices is that they almost always live on a chip that also contains the electronics necessary to process the output from the sensor. For example, an on-chip accelerometer for a car airbag deployment will contain the electronics necessary to process the signal from the sensor and end up with something much closer to “we’re crashing, deploy the airbags” versus “we’re OK, don’t fire off the airbags.”

The design of the MEMS devices themselves are typically done with some form of finite-element analysis (FEA), a very general approach to designing mechanical structures. However, these models of the device are very complex and slow to evaluate due to the huge number of degrees of freedom. This is fine for designing the device itself but for working with the electronics a simpler model of the device is required that is accurate enough for the purpose but is also fast to evaluate.
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