Introducing SEMulator3D Version 5.2


By: Daniel Sieger, Lead Engineer, SEMulator3D Geometry and Michael Hargrove, Semiconductor Process & Integration Engineer

The SEMulator3D software platform has once again been updated and improved with significantly more features, making it the industry leader in semiconductor virtual fabrication. 

In order to view massively large GDSII and Oasis layout files that are typical for today’s complex technology nodes, SEMulator3D 5.2 has introduced a new layout front-end called Layout Expert. This new layout tool enables the import of layout files that are multiple GB in size. The Layout Expert also provides the capability to extract smaller sections of layout that can then be imported to the Layout Editor, as well as the ability to merge multiple sections of layout that can also be read into the Layout Editor. These new Layout Expert features significantly enhance the seamless connection between reading large layout files into SEMulator3D and the subsequent execution of complex process integration models that produce virtual 3D wafer fabrication structures.

The new 5.2 release also provides a simple, one-click way to collect and ultimately distribute complete model files for sharing and version control purposes within an organization. The single click procedure creates a zip file of all necessary model files for easy distribution. Another new feature in 5.2 is a significantly improved “drag and drop” interface within the Process Editor. This enhanced feature is useful for inserting steps from the Process Library into the Process Editor and re-ordering process sequences.

The ability to run large DOE and process split variations within SEMulator3D using the Expeditor module has also been significantly enhanced in Version 5.2. In earlier versions, large batch jobs exhibited non-ideal scaling. In SEMulator3D 5.2, Expeditor runs scale very well up to much larger run numbers and the output folder control is much improved, reducing disk space requirements.

Two of the most important enhancements in SEMulator3D 5.2 have to do with exporting the highly detailed, silicon accurate device geometry created by the SEMulator3D process model into other TCAD software or metrology software tools. The first of these enhancements involves the standard voxel format, and enables direct import and export of voxel and dopant data. It’s fast, accurate and compact. The newly enhanced import/export file format is XML, with a mixture of ASCII and binary data, and contains:

• Voxel data (direct import and export to SEMulator3D with no translation)
• Dopant data
• Material and Dopant type description
• Metrology and Structure Search (measurement) results
• Additional meta-data (coordinates, voxel size, etc.)

The file structure is modular, versioned, and will be extended in the future to include additional data of interest.

The second of these enhancements is an improvement in mesh generation reliability. The meshing algorithms now contain additional quality checks and more powerful repair methods. Numerous other meshing algorithms have been improved, resulting in a more accurate and robust mesh generation process. In addition, support for two new export formats has been added. Surface and volume meshes can now be exported to VTK’s compressed XML formats, thereby allowing for compact storage as well as further processing in standard tools.

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