Practical Methods to Overcome the Challenges of 3D Logic Design

By:  Benjamin Vincent, Ph.D., Staff Engineer, Semiconductor Process & Integration

What should you do If you don’t have enough room on your floor to store all your old boxes? Luckily, we live in a 3D world, and you can start stacking them on top of each other!

The Challenge: How can we shrink logic devices?

Logic designers are currently facing even bigger challenges than you might be having in tidying up your storage area. Not only are logic cells highly packed together already, but in addition their sizes are constantly required to shrink. Logic designers can increase the density of devices by re-engineering logic to generate new white space areas on their logic cells. This white space can be subsequently removed, in effect increasing the density of the device. When component (transistor) level scaling cannot shrink sizes any further, designers need to find other scaling boosters. Luckily, logic designers have another alternative to increase the density of their designs. We live in a 3D world, and we can think about designing in 3 dimensions to increase device performance over that of current 2D designs. read more…

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Transistor-Level Performance Evaluation Based on Wafer-Level Process Modeling

By: Michael Hargrove, SP&I Engineer

Three years ago, I wrote a blog entitled “Linking Virtual Wafer Fabrication Modeling with Device-level TCAD Simulation” in which I described the seamless connection between the SEMulator3D® virtual wafer fabrication software platform and external 3rd party TCAD software. I’m now happy to report that device-level I-V performance analysis is now a built-in module within the SEMulator3D software platform.  Users are no longer required to export a mesh and import it into a TCAD platform, when performing transistor I-V simulation.  Now, once the 3D device structure is built in SEMulator3D, transistor I-V simulation can be performed directly within SEMulator3D without need for 3rd party solvers.  Contacts and bias can be applied using the SEMulator3D device design, and I-V transistor characteristics can be determined for specific steps in the process flow.  You can perform direct transistor-level performance evaluation inside the SEMulator3D software platform, without needing to export or import meshes. read more…

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Improving Patterning Yield at the 5 nm Semiconductor Node

By:  Benjamin Vincent, Ph.D., Staff Engineer, Semiconductor Process & Integration

Engineering decisions are always data-driven.  As scientists, we only believe in facts and not in intuition or feelings.

At the manufacturing stage, the semiconductor industry is eager to provide data and facts to engineers based upon metrics such as the quantity of wafers produced per hour and sites/devices tested on each of those wafers. The massive quantity of data generated in semiconductor manufacturing can provide facts that engineers can use to make immediate and accurate decisions, such as how they might correct any excursion or yield drift. Data exists, so life is (kind of…) easy! read more…

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Coventor Adds Device Analysis Capabilities to SEMulator3D 7.0

New in SEMulator3D 7.0:  Powerful new process and device simulation capabilities


For Immediate Distribution
For more information, contact:
Toni Sottak
(408) 876-4418,

 Coventor Adds Device Analysis Capabilities to SEMulator3D 7.0

New Features Enable SEMulator3D Version 7.0 to Address Both Process Modeling and Device Analysis for Better Insight into Advanced Semiconductor Technology Development

CARY, NC– February 28, 2018 – February 26, 2018 – Coventor, Inc., a Lam Research Company, the leading supplier of design automation solutions for semiconductor devices and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), today announced the availability of SEMulator3D® 7.0 – the newest version of its semiconductor virtual fabrication platform. With added features, performance improvements, and a new Device Analysis capability, SEMulator3D 7.0 addresses both process and device simulation while lowering the barriers to advanced semiconductor technology development.  The new Device Analysis capability enables seamless understanding of how process changes, process variability, and integration schemes directly impact transistor device performance.   read more…

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SEMulator3D Honored as UBM ACE Award Finalist

For Immediate Release
For more information, contact:
Toni Sottak
(408) 876-4418

SEMulator3D Honored as UBM ACE Award Finalist

Coventor’s Virtual Fabrication Platform Recognized for Significantly Improving Electronics Manufacturing

CARY, NC– November 17, 2017 – Coventor®, Inc. a Lam Research Company and leading supplier of virtual fabrication solutions for semiconductor and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) devices, today announced its 3D virtual fabrication platform, SEMulator3D®, has been named a finalist in UBM’s annual ACE Awards competition.

The ACE (Annual Creativity in Electronics) Awards, in partnership with EE Times and EDN, showcase the best of the best in today’s electronics industry, including the hottest new products, start-up companies, design teams, executives, and more. ACE finalists and winners are hand selected by a panel of EE Times and EDN editors as well as independent judges from the across the industry. read more…

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Semiconductor Process and Integration Engineer – South Korea

Semiconductor Process and Integration Engineer – South Korea

We are seeking a BS/MS/PhD-level engineer who has experience and expertise in semiconductor process integration and fabrication. You will work with leading semiconductor companies to implement our virtual fabrication solution for their most advanced development programs, including 10nm CMOS technology and beyond! You will collaborate with the Semiconductor Process & Integration team in the Office of the CTO, along with our highly skilled software development team, to create integration and modeling solutions for industry-critical manufacturing challenges. Our tight-knit team of creative engineers is critical in leading customers into the methodology of virtual fabrication.

This is a hands-on engineering position, requiring proficiency in full flow semiconductor process integration, as well as strong communication and presentation skills. Your title, level of responsibility, creative freedom and salary will be commensurate with your education and experience.

Location: South Korea. This position requires residency in South Korea with a substantial amount of time at customer sites in South Korea. Work is expected to be partly based at customer/partner sites. Travel is expected.

Required Qualifications:

Education: Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree preferred, in related fields of Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science or Applied Physics.

Experience: Semiconductor Technology and Processing education and experience is required. Relevant employment experience in the semiconductor industry is required.

Skills: Semiconductor Processing and Integration, Semiconductor Device Physics (preferred), Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Modeling, Python scripting language, Technical Writing , Communication and Presentation.

If you are interested in this opportunity and you are authorized to work in South Korea, e-mail your cover letter and CV in English to

About Coventor:

Coventor, Inc. ( is the global market leader in virtual fabrication solutions for semiconductor technologies and design automation solutions for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Coventor serves a worldwide customer base of integrated device manufacturers, independent foundries, equipment makers, and R&D organizations that develop semiconductor and MEMS technologies for consumer, automotive, aerospace, industrial, and defense uses. Coventor’s predictive modeling tools and expertise enable its customers to dramatically reduce silicon learning cycles, giving them a time-to-market advantage and reducing technology development costs. The company is headquartered in Cary, NC and has offices in Waltham, MA; Silicon Valley, CA; Tokyo, Japan; Hsinchu, Taiwan; and Paris, France.

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Reducing BEOL Parasitic Capacitance using Air Gaps

By: Michael Hargrove, SP&I Engineer

Reducing back-end-of-line (BEOL) interconnect parasitic capacitance remains a focus for advanced technology node development. Porous low-k dielectric materials have been used to achieve reduced capacitance, however, these materials remain fragile and prone to reliability concerns. More recently, air gap has been successfully incorporated into 14nm technology [1], and numerous schemes have been proposed to create the air gap [2-3].  There are many challenges to integrate air gap in BEOL such as process margin for un-landed vias and overall increased process complexity. In this paper, we introduce virtual fabrication (SEMulator3D®) as a means to study air gap process integration optimization and resulting interconnect capacitance reduction. Initial calibration to published air gap data is demonstrated. read more…

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Using Advanced Statistical Analysis to improve FinFET transistor performance

By: Jimmy Gu, SP&I Staff Engineer

Trial and error wafer fabrication is commonly used to study the effect of process changes in the development of FinFET and other advanced semiconductor technologies.  Due to the interaction of upstream unit process parameters (such as deposition conformality, etch anisotropy, selectivity) during actual fabrication, variations based upon process changes can be highly complex. Process simulators that mimic fab unit processes can now be used to model these complex interactions.  They can also help process engineers identify important process and/or design parameters that drive certain critical targets such as CDs, yield limiting spacing, 3D design rule violations, resistance/capacitance, and other process and design issues.   The number of possible parameters that affect device performance and yield can be quite large, so statistical analysis can provide useful insight and help identify critical performance parameters.  Coventor’s SEMulator3D virtual fabrication (or process simulation) platform contains an analytics module for conducting virtual design-of-experiments and statistical analysis. I would like to use an example of a 14nm FinFET process flow in SEMulator3D to identify important process parameters that drive fin top CD, which is a key metric for transistor performance.

read more…

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