ARPA High Performance Computing Blue Book Contribution

The design of new IC technologies is of strategic value to the ongoing improvement in performance of integrated systems. Particularly in an era of expanding use of both fiber and other "wireless" technologies, the range of technologies being used is a major challenge to the systems designer. The use of "computational prototyping" based on the availability of parallel computation (HPC) has opened the way for "virtual instrument" characterization of these technologies and better understanding of the their performance trade-offs.

The attached figure shows two distinctly different device technologies---silicon MOSFET and Gallium Arsenide MESFET devices---created as "virtual devices" using 3D computational solid geometry. Base on these structures, "virtual instruments" are used to simulate the device behavior and demonstrate the predicted performance in the form of curves that the real devices will exhibit when fabricated and measured in the lab. The upper left curve shows the electrostatic discharge (ESD) breakdown of a MOSFET protection device. Such simulations are invaluable in predicting reliability of ICs.

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