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Classical Semiconductor Device and Circuit Simulator

Minimos-NT is a general-purpose semiconductor device simulator providing steady-state, transient, and small-signal analysis of arbitrary two and three dimensional device geometries. In mixed-mode device and circuit simulation, numerically simulated devices can be embedded in circuits consisting of compact device models and passive elements.

Closing in on real Physics

A comprehensive set of physical models allows for simulating various kinds of advanced device structures, such as present-day CMOS devices, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) devices, and hetero-structure devices. Taking into account the atomistic nature of traps and dopants, Minimos-NT provides reliability and variability modeling of highly scaled transistors such as bulk planar devices and silicon-on-insulator FinFETs having a channel length of 22nm or less.

New: Simulation of Non-Planar Transistors

GTS Framework provides physics-based quantum-mechanical models, allowing for simulation of upcoming non-planar device generations.

With GTS Framework, a unique tool flow integrating Minimos-NT was specifically developed for predictive simulation as well as optimization of non-planar devices like FinFETs and nanowires.

Examples: Coupling band structure and physical mobility modeling with device simulation for a FinFET; nanowire.

Key features include:

  • Slice to determine transport properties of the channel
  • Full coupling to S/P and Kubo-Greenwood solver
  • Virtually free of empirical parameters

More on Schrödinger-Poisson Simulation

See Vienna Schrödinger-Poisson (VSP), hot-topic Schödinger-Poisson Simulation.

New: Predictive Simulation of Gate Stacks

Profound understanding of degradation physics is key to optimizing device and circuit reliability of your technology. With the latest implementation of the nonradiative multiphonon (NMP) model, Minimos-NT features accurate simulation of BTI phenomena.

ΔVth (stress, relaxation)
Discrete oxide and interface traps in FinFET

This allows for engineering device reliability by numerical experiments, analyzing effects of:

  • Reducing defect density
  • Shifting traps in energy
  • Reducing the electrostatic impact

Key features include:

  • Characterization by inverse modeling
  • Novel channel materials
  • Non-radiative multiphonon (NMP) and double well (DW) model
  • Atomistic traps and dopants
  • Analysis of both FinFETs and planar technologies
  • Reliability on the device and circuit levels

More about BTI / Reliability Analysis

Have a look at our hot topic BTI Reliability and the application tutorial Bias Temperature Instability.


Circuit Simulation — Mixed Mode

Circuit simulation can be done using industry-standard Spice compact models, including BSIM; the easy-to-use schematic editor allows to quickly edit circuits and sub-circuits.

GTS Minimos-NT today is capable of mixed-mode simulations: One or more distributed devices can be connected within a circuit of discrete elements. This allows for analysis of a single distributed device in more realistic testing conditions, as well as studying how multiple instances of a distributed device interact when connected.

The statistical and optimization features of GTS Framework can then be used to optimize the physical devices as part of the circuit.

Find out more in Mixed-Mode Simulation and Mixed-Mode Simulation Part II.

Power Devices

Result of LDMOS simulation

The physical effects self-heating and impact-ionization which are essential for modeling power devices can be modeled using the corresponding state of the art models. Making use of highly configurable iteration schemes, numerically unstable problems like snap-back, secondary breakdown, and thermal runaway effects can be analyzed. This allows for simulation of IGBT, LDMOS, and GTOs devices; even guard-ring structures with floating areas can be simulated using the full drift-diffusion equation system.

Reliability Modeling

Reliability modeling in Minimos-NT focuses on oxide and silicon-oxide interface related issues in MOS transistor devices. Degradation observed during bias temperature instability (BTI) and hot carrier stress based on depassivation and passivation of oxide and interface traps and the transition between different trap states can be simulated. The available state-of-the-art models include the non-radiative multi-phonon (NMP) model for oxide traps and the 2-stage model which additionally incorporates interface traps. Hot-carrier degradation (HCD) is modeled by trap generation along the semiconductor oxide interface, which is estimated by an acceleration integral. Besides the electrostatic effects, the mobility model accounts for degradation due to interface traps.

The models can either use continuously distributed traps, randomly placed discrete traps, or individually placed traps i.e. based on results from process simulation or measurement data, respectively. Minimos-NT is able to capture the atomistic nature of traps and dopants. A random variation of energy levels and barriers can be used for a better representation of real structures.

See hot topic: Reliability / BTI



FinFET Variability

Minimos-NT offers a series of advanced models and techniques for the survey of highly scaled device structures. By applying the Density Gradient Model, quantum mechanical effects are taken into account. Random discrete dopants can be defined easily in order to analyze the variability of a device technology node.

Minimos-NT supports modeling of direct gate leakage currents as well as discrete oxide and interface traps. It can be used for frequency domain analyses in order to evaluate the capacitance matrix. Furthermore, parameter extractions such as the on-resistance or the universal technology curve are made easy.

CMOS Logic

Minimos-NT encorporates various models and functions for the simulation of CMOS logic circuits. By applying mixed mode, a combination of distributed devices and lumped elements within a defined circuit can be simulated. This allows for analyzing the steady state characteristics of a single transistor including a certain external circuit as well as the complete transient behavior, such as the step response of an inverter.

For even more accurate description of circuits on a die, entire multi-device structures with even more than 500.000 mesh nodes can be evaluated. In the figure, a transient simulation of a full logic cycle of six-transistor SRAM cell has been performed.

Single Event Analysis

Minimos-NT incorporates models for analyzing a single event response of semiconductor circuits due to heavy ion strike. For example, the single event transient (SET) of a single transistor or the analyses of the single event upset (SEU) of a full six-transistor SRAM can be performed.

GTS Framework includes an interface to use input data from external tools, and even extends its consistent graphical user interface and work flow for selected third-party tools, such as CERN Geant4 which is used for calculation of ion paths on a silicon chip during an event.

In order to accurately model the charge collection, the region with high carrier generation rates has to be resolved properly. This is ensured by applying automatic spatial grid refinement within the simulation tool flow.

Key Benefits

  • Two- and three-dimensional device structures
  • Analysis of both FinFETs and planar device technologies
  • Drift-diffusion and energy-transport models
  • DC, AC, transient, and mixed-mode
  • Atomistic traps and dopants
  • Density-gradient model
  • Self-heating simulation
  • Heterostructure interfaces
  • Mixed mode circuit and device simulation
  • Schematic editor for mixed-mode simulation
  • Circuit analysis with a thermal circuit
  • BSIM4 compact model
  • Multi-core support
  • GPU-enabled solver
  • Built-in irradiation models
  • Latest hot-carrier degradation and BTI models
  • Mobility degradation models
  • Non-radiative multiphonon (NMP) and double well (DW) models
  • Statistical variability and reliability analysis on device and circuit level
  • Predictive simulation of novel gate stacks
  • Characterization by inverse modeling
  • Unstructured and structured meshes in two and three dimensions

Integrated in GTS Framework

  • Intuitive and versatile graphical user interface
  • Comprehensive scripting interface
  • Available for Windows and Linux platforms