Overview: Our Products for MEMS Development

For nearly two decades, Coventor has supplied world-leading MEMS companies and R&D organizations with simulation tools that accurately predict the complex, multi-physics behavior of MEMS devices. Our on-going focus has resulted in MEMS-specific capabilities and simulation expertise that helps our customers significantly reduce time to market.

New, Hybrid Design Methodology

Coventor offers complementary products for MEMS design: MEMS+® and CoventorWare®. These software tools are ideal for MEMS devices that employ mechanical, electrostatic, piezo-electric, piezo-resistive, or thermal effects for sensing or actuation. Together, MEMS+ and CoventorWare provide a design platform that enables MEMS designers to simulate critical end-product performance specs such as sensitivity, linearity, frequency response, signal-to-noise ratio, temperature stability or actuation time. The figure below shows the uses of each product during the different phases of a typical MEMS development program.

MEMS+ and CoventorWare add value in all phases of a MEMS development program

Many customers purchase both products due to their complementary nature:

MEMS+ CoventorWare
Rapid design exploration and optimization. Models are assembled from a library of parametric, high-order finite elements and can simulate up to 100X faster than conventional FEA, enabling

  • Modal analysis
  • Quasi-static coupled electro-mechanics (pull-in, lift-off, electrostatic spring softening)
  • Harmonic analysis
  • Sensitivity studies of design and fabrication variables
  • Transient simulations of electro-mechanical behavior fully coupled with gas damping effects
  • Closed-loop system simulation in Simulink and Cadence
  • Noise analysis in Cadence Spectre and APS simulators
  • Inclusion of package/substrate deformation effects on sensor performance

 

Detailed device analysis with a suite of FEM/BEM solvers. The 2D-to-3D model builder, automatic meshing and field solvers are optimized for MEMS structures and multi-physics, addressing most types of MEMS:

  • Modal analysis
  • Quasi-static coupled electro-mechanics (pull-in, lift-off, electrostatic spring softening)
  • Harmonic analysis
  • Fast-frequency-sweep algorithm for piezoelectric BAW resonators
  • Gas damping for any 3D geometry
  • Energy dissipation from thermo-elastic damping and anchor losses
  • Sensitivity analysis of piezo-resistive sensors
  • Detailed stress analysis

Designing MEMS Structures and Processes for High Yield

Unlike CMOS processes, MEMS processes are highly customized to a particular class of devices making it essential for all stakeholders in a MEMS development project to fully understand and account for processing effects. To reduce prototyping and improve yield, Coventor offers two separate products, CoventorWare and SEMulator3D®, that make it easy to build 3D structural models from 2D design data (layout). While CoventorWare produces models that are ideal for field solvers, SEMulator3D creates models that include realistic processing effects such as rounding of conformal deposits, undesirable voids, and incomplete release etches. SEMulator3D models are used to predict, diagnose, and resolve complex processing issues. Most importantly, SEMulator3D models are used to verify MEMS designs prior to tape-out. SEMulator3D is now part of the standard verification flow at well established MEMS fabs and independent foundries.

3D models of a rotating projection mirror built with CoventorWare (left), and SEMulator3D (right), with hinge detail highlighted. The CoventorWare model is ideal for finite element modeling while the SEMulator3D model includes more realistic structural details and layers from the underlying SRAM cell.

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