In the field of Electronic Design Automation (EDA), Technology Computer Aided Design (TCAD) simulation software is used for development and optimization of semiconductor device structures. In order to provide accurate simulation results for a wide range of device technologies based on various material systems, a physics-based approach is employed. Depending on the device's dimensions and dominant physical effects, either classical or quantum mechanics based simulation tools are applied. While the former rely on a hierarchical set of partial differential equations (PDEs) describing carrier flux and conservation, the latter are based on the solution of the Schrödinger-Poisson system and are typically used for emerging nano-scaled technologies.
Usage: Design for Manufacturability,...
Design for Manufacturability (DFM) is probably one of the main reasons for using simulation tools, but the fields of application are wide: Due to their predictive character, TCAD tools are present all over a device technology's lifetime. They are used to explore novel structures for the rapid and cost effective development of upcoming devices, even without expensive and time consuming wafer runs. Later on, Design of Experiment (DoE) and optimization strategies are deployed in order to characterize and optimize the fabrication processes. Finally, mass production is facilitated by improvements of the parametric yield.