The Si2 Compact Model Coalition has released the latest version of BSIM-CMG FinFET, a standard compact SPICE model developed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, in conjunction with 20 partners from many of the industry’s leading semiconductor companies.
CMC is a collaborative industry group that standardizes SPICE (Simulation Program with Integration Circuit Emphasis) device models.
John Ellis, Si2 president and CEO, said FinFET is the transistor design that powers the industry along Moore’s Law to advanced leading-edge integrated circuits, including the latest 7nm chips used in every new smartphone, tablet, server, and personal computer. “The industry-standard SPICE model for FinFET is the 3D multi-gate transistor, a critical part of the ecosystem. Its sophistication required a cross-industry team to bring this model to fruition,” Ellis said.
“FinFET” refers to a visual description of a multi-gate, non-planar transistor. In IC design, field-effect-transistor gates wrap around the three sides of a vertical, fin-like channel, creating conducting channels on all sides of the structure. FinFET was named by Dr. Chenming Hu, a National Medal of Technology and Innovation recipient and professor emeritus in the Electronic Engineering and Computer Science Department at UC Berkeley.
“The model updates in the new release (111.0.0) are important refinements and fixes,” stated CMC BSIM-CMG working group chair, Richard Williams. “This new release will benefit all BSIM-CMG users in its myriad applications.” Through the CMC—and working under Si2’s anti-trust umbrella as a collaborative R&D joint venture—university researchers, simulation software suppliers, fabless, foundry and integrated device manufacturers team up to produce a variety of industry-standard models. CMC members have immediate access to new standards, while new standards are released to the public 18 months after initial release.
Dr. Harshit Agarwal, a post-doctoral developer at UC Berkeley states, “CMC provides a tie to the industry that keeps us in close touch with the customer’s needs. Without CMC there’s no shared funding to support our model standardization, and the data, testing, and feedback on model performance would have to be sought after on a company-by-company basis. Together we are all much more intelligent and customers can cooperatively prioritize their requested features and bug fixes. Beyond this, the quality assurance program provided by CMC ensures our model, and the simulator provider’s implementations, perform at their absolute best for the designers.”
Dr. Peter Lee, CMC chair, agreed and added, “It has been two-and-a-half years since the last major BSIM-CMG update, which is equivalent to a semiconductor generation or two. This new version implements 25 enhancements and 13 bug fixes which improve accuracy, convergence, and performance when compared to the previous version. These changes can have important implications in shortening design time and ensuring first silicon success for a wide variety of products.”
Enhancements include improvements to the thermal noise model and the introduction of gate current scaling factors. Bug fixes include corrected parameter range, and use of macros instead “ifdef’s”, making the code even more robust.
Founded in 1988, Si2 is a leading research and development joint venture that provides standard interoperability solutions for integrated circuit design tools. All Si2 activities are carried out under the auspices of the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, the fundamental law that defines R&D joint ventures and offers them a large measure of protection against federal antitrust laws.