SEMulator3D 5.0 – It’s ALMOST HERE!!!!

By David M. Fried

I said I’d follow up with another blog about new features and capabilities SEMulator3D 5.0… and I’m running out of time. The Gold release is less than a week away!!
In the last blog, I gave a general overview of the new release and I talked about the all new dopant-handling capabilities, so let’s just jump right into another topic…Visibility!

Even if you’re not in the semiconductor industry, you should know that manufacturing semiconductor products requires many complex processes performed in elaborate equipment under alien conditions. In many of these processes, charged ions come raining down on the substrate wafer in order to deposit or etch materials and patterns. The pressure, power, temperature and gas flows all contribute to the way these ions move toward the wafer. In many processes, the path of these ions toward the wafer can be affected by the topography that already exists on the wafer, or by the physical conditions of the equipment. Sometimes these ions are shadowed or blocked from the wafer surface, which leads to the name of these “visibility-dependent effects”. Given the highly complex 3D nature of advanced devices today, these effects are critical to capture in virtual fabrication.

SEMulator3D 5.0 now has expanded capability for predicting these visibility effects. To be completely fair, our last version of SEMulator3D (2014.100) began this story by adding visibility-limited deposition to the process library. This was great for predicting the effects of some PVD processes like metal sputtering, and other plasma-enhanced CVD processes. But version 5.0 expands this visibility feature to include Etch, and allows the user to specify non-orthogonal processing sources. Historically, most processes have always been orthogonal to the wafer. But now, due to the extreme process complexity inherent in current technologies, there are places where intentionally angled processes, like Ion Milling, may be important. But, this feature can also help predict very specific equipment effects, such as cross-wafer non-uniformity that arises because locations on the wafer see slightly different angles of ion flow from the source (center vs. edge die). The two simple SEMulator3D 5.0 demos below show how slightly off-axis processes can have dramatic effects on the resulting structure.


You can see why I’m so excited about the upcoming release of SEMulator3D 5.0. Our process developers, integrators and equipment manufacturer customers are all clamoring for these features. The 5.0 release will be shipped soon, and Coventor will be at SEMICON West 2015 in a few weeks to talk about it. Stop by the Coventor booth if you’d like to discuss this amazing release any further or click here to schedule a demo.

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