My first IR drop analysis was back in the early 1980s at Intel, where I had to manually model the parasitics of the VDD and VSS interconnect for all of the IO cells that our team was designing in a graphics chip, then I ran that netlist in a SPICE simulator using transient analysis, measuring the bounce in VSS and droop in VDD levels as all… Read More
Mission-critical IC design for segments like automotive, aerospace, defense, medical and 5G have more stringent reliability analysis requirements than consumer electronics, and entails running special simulations for the following concerns:
- Electromigration analysis
- IR drop analysis
- MOS aging
- High-sigma Monte Carlo
In the past ESD sign-off has been accomplished by a combination of techniques. Often ESD experts are asked to look at a design and assess its ESD robustness based on experience gained from prior chips. Alternatively, designers are told to work with a set of rules given to them, again based on previous experience about what usually… Read More
The 2020 VLSI Technology Symposium was held as a virtual conference from June 14th through June 19th. At the symposium Imec gave an interesting paper on Buried Power Rails (BPR) and I had a chance to interview one of the authors, Anshul Gupta.
As logic devices continue to scale down metal pitch is reaching a limit. Imec defines a pitch… Read More
Walking across a carpet can generate up to 35,000 volts of static charge, which is tens of thousands of times higher than the operating voltages of most integrated circuits. When charge build up from static electricity is exposed to the pins of an IC, the electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection network on the chip is intended to… Read More
Advanced IC technologies, 5nm and 7nm FinFET design and stacked packaging, are enabling massive levels of integration of super-fast circuits. These in turn enable much of the exciting new technology we hear so much about: mobile gaming and ultra-high definition mobile video through enhanced mobile broadband in 5G, which requires… Read More
The symbol for a PowerMOS device in a converter circuit schematic looks simple enough. However, it belies a great deal of hidden complexity. A single device is actually a huge array of parallel intrinsic devices connected together to act as a single high power device. While their gate lengths are small, as with many other MOS devices,… Read More
This builds on a couple of topics I have covered for quite a while from an analysis point of view – integrity and reliability. The power distribution network and some other networks like clock trees are particularly susceptible to both IR-drop and electromigration (EM) problems. The first can lead to intermittent timing failures,… Read More
OK, so maybe the picture here is a little over the top, but thermal and reliability considerations in automotive in general and in ADAS and autonomy in particular, are no joke. Overheating, thermal-induced EM and warping at the board-level, in the package or interposers, are concerns in any environment but especially when you’re… Read More
While it’s interesting to hear a tool-vendor’s point of view on the capabilities of their product, it’s always more compelling to hear a customer/user point of view, especially when that customer is NVIDIA, a company known for making monster chips.
A quick recap on the concept. At 7nm, operating voltages are getting much closer… Read More