Coventor Enhances SEMulator3D Virtual Fabrication Platform To Address Advanced 3D Process Development Challenges

New pattern dependent etch modeling capability highlights improvements in speed and accuracy for FinFETs, 3D memory, BEOL interconnect and other advanced manufacturing technologies

CARY, North Carolina – March 31, 2014 – Coventor®, Inc., the leading supplier of virtual fabrication solutions for semiconductor devices and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), today announced the immediate availability of the SEMulator3D® 2014 software platform. The latest version of the integrated modeling tool enhances the visibility, accuracy and performance with which engineers can analyze next-generation manufacturing technologies, and dramatically reduce the time and cost of traditional build-and-test silicon learning cycles in the 3D era.

A key feature of the 2014 release is the ability to quickly and precisely model pattern dependent etch effects, which are critical to a new generation of 3D technologies. The tool has been enhanced to provide increased sensitivity to the design parameters and underlying topography that result from the etch processes used in 3D structures.

“Virtual fabrication has established itself as the methodology of choice to address the time and cost issues associated with the most demanding development challenges. This release of SEMulator3D 2014 adds many features to make our customers even more successful in their predictive modeling,” said David Fried, CTO, Semiconductor for Coventor. “In general, this release keeps with our mantra of ‘Even Faster, Even More Predictive, Even Easier to Use.’”

The latest version of SEMulator3D uses a combination of detailed design-specific data and predictive 3D models to enable fast and accurate modeling of pattern-dependent etch effects. This in-depth modeling of design-technology interaction results in increased yield, reliability and performance by the process technology, and does so with no compromise in overall tool performance.

Performance and Productivity Enhancements

In addition to support for pattern dependent etch modeling, SEMulator3D 2014 offers higher performance to increase the speed of modeling and analysis of all types of structures and devices, In addition, a range of new user productivity features to enhance efficiency and usability of the platform have been added. These features are especially critical as the size and complexity of process technology models escalate, and more iterative analysis and experimentation is required.

SEMulator3D 2014 includes a full-production version of the popular, time-saving Structure Search feature. Structure Search allows technology developers to examine their entire structural models for specific criteria, checking for potential yield-limiting mechanisms. This feature effectively gives users the capability to find problems in places where they didn’t know to look. By coupling Structure Search with other automation features released in 2013, like the tool’s Expeditor and Virtual Metrology features, SEMulator3D now offers technologists the most efficient way to examine process margins and design rule sensitivities in a fast, automated virtual environment, rather than wasting time and money on costly in-fab experiments.

Fried added, “Pattern-dependent etching is a particularly important feature for modeling 3D technologies, and the platform supports it in a very intuitive and efficient way. This new capability, coupled with Structure Search and other advances we’ve delivered in the last few releases, enables SEMulator3D to continue displacing trial-and-error semiconductor engineering and help our customers bring advanced technologies to market faster.”

Among the other new features and enhancements to improve performance and user productivity are:

  • Modeling Performance Enhancements
  • Selective Conformal (Basic) Etch now Multi-Threaded
  • Multi-Etch speed enhancement
  • Layout-Aware Rebuild
  • Improves modeling performance response to design changes
  • New GUI for the tool’s Expeditor feature
  • Makes complex multi-dimensional DOEs easier to setup and execute
  • Crystal Etch moved into the tool’s Process Editor
  • Popular custom python, now in process library

About Coventor
Coventor, Inc. is the market leader in automated design solutions for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and virtual fabrication of MEMS and semiconductor devices. Coventor serves a worldwide customer base of integrated device manufacturers, fabless design houses, independent foundries, and R&D organizations that develop MEMS-based products for automotive, aerospace, industrial, defense, and consumer electronics applications, including smart phones, tablets, and gaming systems. Coventor’s software tools and expertise enable its customers to simulate and optimize MEMS device designs and fabrication processes before committing to time-consuming and costly build-and-test cycles. The company is headquartered in Cary, North Carolina and has offices in California’s Silicon Valley, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Paris, France.


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