NIMS Adopts Silvaco’s TechModeler, SPICE Modeling Tool, for Diamond Semiconductor Research

YOKOHAMA, Japan, - August 8, 2017

Silvaco Japan Co., Ltd. (Silvaco) today announced that the Research Network and Facility Services Divisions, National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) have adopted TechModeler with innovative SPICE Compact Model Technology for the research and development of diamond semiconductors.

In recent years, wide bandgap semiconductors such as SiC and GaN have been gaining attention, and development of devices in the area has been active. Diamond, with a large bandgap and excellent heat conduction, is expected to be the wide bandgap material of the next generation, applicable to current switches and integrated circuits that stably function under high temperature, high output and high frequency. NIMS began research on diamonds in the early 1980s. Currently, NIMS conducts research and development on diamond semiconductors such as FETs, sensors, diodes and MEMS.

In May 2017, NIMS announced that it has achieved the world’s first success in the development of the diamond logic circuit chip. [1] SPICE circuit simulation is essential for analysis of the actual circuit operation of such diamond logical circuits. However, for new devices such as diamond semiconductors, there is no existing SPICE compact model, which is the key to the accuracy of circuit simulation. Therefore, researchers have needed to build the model themselves, and it has been a challenge to quickly create a SPICE model with high accuracy.

The innovative technology of Silvaco’s TechModeler solves the problem of devices with no existing SPICE compact model. Regardless of the type of device, TechModeler’s innovative technology conducts fitting based on the measured values and automatically generates a SPICE model. NIMS confirmed the usability of the TechModeler along with the Silvaco circuit editor Gateway™ and SPICE simulator SmartSpice™, and decided to adopt Silvaco’s SPICE simulation flow including these three tools.

“It was necessary to build an environment for circuit simulation to bring the research and development of diamond semiconductors to the next level, but we were faced with a great challenge to create a SPICE model. Silvaco’s SPICE simulation flow with TechModeler is just perfect to solve this problem. I look forward to further progress on research and development by being able to analyze the operation of actual circuits,” said Yasuo Koide, Director of Department at NIMS.

Naoto Kameda, General Manager of Silvaco, said “The adoption of Silvaco’s SPICE solutions such as TechModeler by Mr. Koide’s research group, which has been researching diamond semiconductors with a high potential among wide bandgap semiconductors for years, will serve as a great encouragement for our ongoing technology development in wide bandgap semiconductors. Silvaco will continue to provide the necessary solutions for advanced technology to solve our customers’ issues.”

[1] NIMS Press Release “The Development of Diamond Logic Circuit Chips”

About Silvaco, Inc.

Silvaco, Inc. is a leading EDA provider of software tools used for process and device development and for analog/mixed-signal, power IC and memory design. Silvaco delivers a full TCAD-to-sign-off flow for vertical markets including: displays, power electronics, optical devices, radiation and soft error reliability and advanced CMOS process and IP development. For over 30 years, Silvaco has enabled its customers to bring superior products to market with reduced cost and in the shortest time. The company is headquartered in Santa Clara, California and has a global presence with offices located in North America, Europe, Japan and Asia.

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