Blog


Taking a leap forward from TCAD

SemiWiki
by Pawan Fangaria

We all know that Technology Computer Aided Design (TCAD) simulations are essential in developing processes for semiconductor manufacturing. From the very nature of these simulations (involving physical structure and corresponding electrical characteristics of a transistor or device), they are predominantly finite-element based simulations with complex set of equations to be solved which require large computation, thus increasing simulation time exponentially with the size of the device. It was okay for earlier generations of semiconductor technology nodes to rely on transistor or small cell level process and characterization to develop large designs which were then verified through several build-and-test cycles through actual foundries. However, for today’s nanometer technology nodes and large, complex, high-density designs with complex transistor structures like FinFET and others which exhibit excessive variability in manufacturing, it’s clear that the same old methodology will no longer be effective. . Along with the technology, the economics of chip manufacturing and marketing has become equally pressing, needing substantial reduction in P/Q ratio and very high TAT in order take advantage of ever shrinking windows of opportunity.
read more…

Semicon West attracts the entire value chain to address 3D chip manufacturing challenges

Semicon West is one of the iconic conferences in the semiconductor industry and annually attracts the key movers and shakers who are involved with how we are going to keep Moore’s Law moving forward, among other things. It’s known rightfully so, as a ‘big iron’ show with the top manufacturing equipment companies showing off their newest machines for the major steps in the manufacture of semiconductors – wafer processing, assembly packaging and test.

It’s not all about the equipment of course, or even just manufacturing. The show has done a good job of expanding to include a wider ecosystem of companies, products and topics that impact chip design as well. So while the majority of attendees come from companies that produce chips – foundries and IDMs – as well as the supporting production services, Semicon visitors also include the fabless companies who really aren’t in the market for manufacturing equipment. read more…

New Release of Semulator3D at #semiconwest

SemiWiki,
by Paul McLellan

One of Coventor’s flagship products is SEMulator3D, and at Semicon West they announced a new version, 2014.100.

SEMulator3D is a powerful 3D semiconductor and MEMS process modeling platform. It uses highly efficient physics-driven voxel modeling technology. It models the physical effects of process steps, which is where all the current challenges are.

Combining the two-dimensional design layout with the process description gives it the capability to model the process flows and determine what will be manufactured with that combination of layout and process. The basic idea, as with all modeling, is to enable experiments to be done quickly and efficiently. Since the alternative is to actually build chips and then take measurements, which is millions of dollars of investment and months of delay, the virtual fabrication route is especially attractive. This is especially important in the early stages of process development since it can drastically shorten the whole development and ramp to volume roadmap.
read more…

Senior Quality Assurance Engineer – Waltham, MA

Senior Quality Assurance Engineer for 3D Semiconductor Process Modeling and Simulation Software – Waltham, MA

Do you enjoy figuring out how to build things in 3D? Do you enjoy exploring software? Are you a detail-oriented engineer who thinks critically and systematically? We are seeking a BS/MS-level engineer with  a strong interest in 3D numerical modeling and simulation to perform quality assurance on our virtual fabrication environment for semiconductor process development and integration. You will be embedded in a truly collaborative software development team that is following the Scrum agile development process. Through daily engagement with the developers, you will play a critical role in helping us deliver quality software for both the Windows and Linux platforms. Your title, and salary will be commensurate with your education and experience.

Responsibilities

  • Understand the functionality of our semiconductor virtual fabrication environment
  • Actively participate in our Scrum-based agile development process
  • Develop verification test cases for automated and manual test suites
  • Document verification tests for internal and external readers
  • Submit defect reports and enhancement requests
  • Collaborate with software developers to isolate defects
  • Participate in planning and status meetings with the software development team
  • Interact with the applications support team to define realistic test cases
  • Create examples and draft documentation for use in product documentation and marketing collateral

Required Qualifications

  • BS or MS in Mechanical Engineering or Electrical Engineering
  • Detail oriented individual who enjoys systematically exploring software
  • Solid comprehension of numerical simulation techniques and analytical methods for rigorously verifying numerical simulations
  • Team oriented personality with excellent interpersonal skills
  • Excellent English communication skills (verbal and written)
  • Proficiency with Windows and/or Linux operating systems

Preferred Qualifications

  • Work experience in software quality assurance
  • Semiconductor technology and processing education and experience
  • Experience with CAD, CAE or TCAD software
  • Scripting skills in Python, MATLAB, or similar scripting language

This regular, full-time position is located in our office 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 a cover letter and resume to job1833@coventor.com

Mid summer release of SEMulator3D adds more accuracy for deposition & CMP

By David M. Fried

Today we officially released SEMulator3D 2014.100. Typically, I wouldn’t be so excited about a “point release”, but this is clearly the biggest interim software release in recent SEMulator3D memory. We’ve added significant capability to an already industry-leading virtual fabrication platform. Many of the features of recent SEMulator3D releases have been focused on Etch enhancements. To complement these enhancements, we’ve stepped up the predictive accuracy of several other process models in SEMulator3D 2014.100, including Deposition and CMP.

The highlight of this release is a new Visibility-Limited Deposition model. This model dramatically improves the predictive accuracy for directional depositions, like Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) and other plasma enhanced deposition processes. As with other process models in SEMulator3D, we’ve made this process simple to implement and calibrate using a reduced set of process parameters. The key features of this Visibility-Limited Deposition model are the “Source Sigma”, reflecting the directional distribution of the process, and the “Isotropic Ratio”, reflecting the non-visibility-limited component of the deposition process. This model enables a large variety of processes, with a wide range of results.

Fig1
Figure 1. Cross-sectional images of 3D models using Visibility-Limited Deposition model.

The modeling results above demonstrate the process capability range in 2D cross-sections, from very directional depositions in the top row to more conformal processes in the bottom row. Varying source distributions also exhibit different voiding and void shape during the deposition process. This capability will be used extensively in the modeling of state-of-the-art high-aspect ratio device geometries, including DRAM, 3D NAND Flash, MEMS and scaled FinFET CMOS.

SEMulator3D 2014.100 also includes a new Planarizing Deposition model, to more accurately reflect spin-on processes and flowable depositions. While these processes are meant to deliver a planar result, they inevitably retain some non-planarity due to underlying topography. The new Planarizing Deposition model delivers predictive accuracy for many different materials and processes, with various different planarizing behaviors.

Fig2
Figure 2. Cross-sectional images of 3D models using Planarizing Deposition model.

This model also accounts for deposition processes thinner than the underlying topography, resulting in exposed structures. This capability will be utilized to model several of the novel high-aspect-ratio fill processes as well as many of the innovative patterning film-stacks emerging in a semiconductor process environment still waiting for EUV.

There are several other features in SEMulator3D 2014.100, including a new CMP model that more accurately predicts dishing and over-polish behavior in the presence of complex underlying topography, and modeling performance/accuracy enhancements. We’ve also added a helpful process comparison tool that helps developers keep their flows accurately reflecting the fabrication process.

With this long list of features and enhancements, it’s pretty easy to see why I’m so excited for this interim release. These features answer the needs of our growing customer set, and address new complexities in advanced processes. I can’t wait to spend some time with our customers and exploit these capabilities to accelerate their technology development projects!

Coventor Brings More Accuracy & Performance into Design of MEMS Devices

by Pawan Fangaria
SemiWiki

Although MEMS devices in various forms are now found in most electronic devices, predominantly in mobile, automotive, aerospace and many other applications, their major revolution, I believe, is yet to happen. We are seeing rapid innovation in MEMS reflected by their improvements in precision, performance, size reduction, and the continuing evolution of new devices with increasing complexities. The micro level fabrication of MEMS will enable unprecedented use of these into newer and newer semiconductor based electronic devices that will revolutionize the so called IoT arena. MEMS will be essential to IoT products’ ability to connect every aspect of our life, things and happenings around us and provide us ultimate knowledge, control, security through a wide range of devices in many form factors and environments.
read more…