Overview: Our Products for MEMS Development

For nearly two decades, Coventor has collaborated with world-leading MEMS companies and R&D organizations to create MEMS simulation products that accurately predict the complex, multi-physics behavior of these devices. Our on-going focus has resulted in MEMS-specific capabilities and simulation expertise that helps our customers significantly reduce time to market while simultaneously producing robust, high performance designs with very high yield.

Design and Simulation

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 phases of a typical MEMS development program.

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

Customers typically purchase both products due to their complementary nature:

MEMS+ CoventorWare
Rapid design exploration and optimization. Models are assembled from a library of fully parametric, MEMS-specific, high-order finite elements and simulate 2-to-3 orders of magnitude faster than traditional FEA, enabling

  • Quasi-static coupled electro-mechanics
    (pull-in, lift-off, electrostatic spring softening)
  • 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:

  • Quasi-static coupled electro-mechanics
    (pull-in, lift-off, electrostatic spring softening)
  • Harmonic analysis of electro-mechanical devices
  • Efficient modal harmonic analysis of
    piezo-electro-mechanical 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 Designer™ and SEMulator3D®. Both products generate 3D MEMS models by combining 2D design data (layout) with a process description, however Designer produces idealized structures while SEMulator3D incorporates modeling technology that enables virtual fabrication.

SEMulator3D models include realistic processing effects such as rounding of conformal deposits, undesirable voids, and incomplete release etches. The SEMulator3D platform is used by leading IDMs and independent MEMS foundries to predict, diagnose, and resolve complex processing issues. Most importantly, it is used to verify MEMS designs prior to tape-out. SEMulator3D is now part of the standard verification flow in multiple MEMS fabs and independent foundries.

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

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