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.





IEEE MEMS 2016 Conference – January 24 – 28, 2016, Shanghai, China

Visit Coventor in Booth # 45 mems2016_banner



Imec, Coventor expand collaboration to optimize 7 nm semiconductor manufacturing processes

• Joint development team leverages SEMulator3D to explore semiconductor process  variation issues at unprecedented levels
• Collaboration team has conducted a massive computer modeling simulation of a million
wafers to explore process variability in 7nm BEOL semiconductor fabrication
• The extending collaboration aims to further advance the availability, yield and cost of
manufacturing processes for the next generation of 7 nm semiconductor products

Leuven, Belgium & Cary, North Carolina, United States – December 7, 2015 – Imec, a
world-leading nanoelectronics research center and Coventor, a leading supplier of semiconductor process development tools, today announced the expansion of a joint development project to explore process variation issues in 7nm semiconductor technology.

For over a year, the joint team has been using Coventor’s semiconductor process modeling platform, SEMulator3D®, to perform predictive modeling of semiconductor fabrication processes and to proactively analyze process variation issues in 7nm semiconductor technology.   The collaboration has now been expanded beyond logic-only devices to include 3D NAND Flash, STT-MRAM, and other device types.

“Leveraging Coventor’s technical expertise and its SEMulator3D platform has enabled us to solve real-world semiconductor integration and processing problems at the 7nm node,” said An Steegen, senior vice president of process technology at imec. “Our joint collaboration is helping the entire semiconductor industry lower the risks associated with moving to the latest process technologies by providing customers with proven, tested process development platforms and advancing the availability, yield and cost of next-generation semiconductor technology.”

A highlight of the collaboration has been a massive process simulation experiment to explore the effect of process variability in 7nm BEOL (back end of line) fabrication processes. Researchers used SEMulator3D to simulate an entire window of process variability, which would have required more than one million actual semiconductor wafers if conventional testing methods were used. This experiment was made possible by the robust virtual fabrication environment of SEMulator3D using a fully codified 7nm process flow, along with the ability to support parallel distributed computing and a novel algorithm for submitting variation cases to the simulator.  With these powerful tools, the team was able to produce key findings that will help advance 7nm semiconductor technology.

“We have worked with imec to accelerate the state of the art in semiconductor process
technology useful in a broad range of next-generation devices such as Logic, 3D NAND Flash, STT-MRAM, and others,” said David Fried, Chief Technical Officer at Coventor. “By providing our customers with a comprehensive virtual fabrication environment, plus our combined expertise, Coventor and imec are reducing the time and cost associated with moving to these emerging semiconductor nodes.”

About SEMulator3D
The SEMulator3D® platform is an integrated set of modeling tools to interactively simulate a wide range of semiconductor processes, and subsequently avoid time-consuming and expensive silicon fabrication and testing. The latest release of the SEMulator3D® platform (Version 5.1) includes many new features, including new process capabilities like DSA process modeling, new automation features such as edge placement error metrology, support for distributed computing clusters and expanded layout capabilities.

About imec
Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. Imec leverages its scientific
knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy.  Imec delivers industry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-tech environment, its international top talent is committed to providing the building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, China, India and Japan. Its staff of about 2,300 people includes almost 700 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2014, imec’s revenue (P&L) totaled 363 million euro. Further information on imec can be found at Stay up to date about what’s happening at imec with the monthly imec magazine, available for tablets and smartphones (as an app for iOS and Android), or via the website

About Coventor
Coventor, Inc. is the market leader in advanced solutions for developing semiconductor process technology, as well as micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). Coventor serves a worldwide customer base of integrated device manufacturers, memory suppliers, fabless design houses, independent foundries, and R&D organizations. Its SEMulator3D modeling and analysis platform is used for fast and accurate ‘virtual fabrication’ of advanced manufacturing processes, allowing engineers to understand manufacturing effects early in the development process and reduce time-consuming and costly silicon learning cycles. Its MEMS design solutions are used to develop MEMS-based products for automotive, aerospace, industrial, defense, and consumer electronics applications, including smart phones, tablets, and gaming systems. 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


Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a “stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw, supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.), imec China (IMEC Microelectronics Shanghai Co. Ltd.), imec India (Imec IMEC India
Private Limited) and imec USA (IMEC Inc).

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

Press Release Contacts:
Jack Lapidas, Coventor, Inc.
U.S. 1.919.869.1472
Toni Sottak, Wired Island International, Inc.
U.S. 1.408.876.4418

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ARM and Cadence on Miniaturizing Sensing and Power for IoT Design

By Christine Young
Designing connected devices comes with the added challenges of small form factor and long battery life requirements. SoCs integrating the processor, radio, and sensors provide an answer, as does MEMS technology, which miniaturizes sensing and energy harvesting. But since both are fabricated on separate processes and die, this presents a multi-die SiP integration challenge.

read the full article here

Meeting the IoT’s Appetite for Customized Sensors and Integration: Q&A with Coventor

By Anne Fisher, Managing Editor

Why the MEMS sensors market today consists largely of packaged components and what that means for designers in the smartphone/tablet, automotive, medical and other sectors.

Read the full article here

An Opening for MEMS PDKs

by Bryon Moyer

October 22, 2015 at 1:43 PM

Coventor recently announced the latest release of MEMS+, their MEMS EDA/CAD tool, and the timing was tough because it came just after I had an article involving process design kits (PDKs). And amongst the things that the latest MEMS+ release brings is movement towards MEMS PDKs (MPDKs).

MEMS devices are, of course, notorious for evading any attempts to rope in process and design options through standardization of any kind. Efforts continue, but it remains a challenge.

This means that any MEMS design involves a collaboration between a particular fab (captive or foundry) and the design folks to come up with a physical design that meets the requirements for a particular new sensor or actuator. And what’s done for some new design may have nothing to do with what has been done in the past. Materials may change, dimensions and shapes may change, and circuits and packages may change. Everything’s negotiable.

read the full article here

MEMS+ 6.0 takes on MEMS/IoT integration challenges

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

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

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.

Coventor Prepping MEMS for CMOS Integration

SemiWIkiMemsAbout 11 months ago, I wrote a piece titled “Money for data and your MEMS for free.” In that, I took on the thinking that TSMC is just going to ride into town, fab trillions of IoT sensors, and they all will be 2.6 cents ten years from now. Good headline, but the technology and economics are not that simple. This may be the semiconductor version of putting a man on the moon by 1970, but instead of one big rocket, we are building little things.

– Don Dingee, Read the full article at SemiWiki