Tower-Jazz presents new Empirical Simulation Flow of ESD protection circuits

15 September, 2016

The novel Empirical ESD Simulation Flow of ESD protection circuits will be demonstrated at the EOS/ESD Symposium. The new concept enables reduction in cost and first time success

The novel Empirical ESD Simulation Flow of ESD protection circuits will be demonstrated at the EOS/ESD Symposium. The new concept enables reduction in cost and first time success

towerjazz-20160914-esd-empiricalIsraeli specialty foundry Tower-Jazz  announced its participation at the EOS/ESD Symposium, the main ESD (electrostatic discharge) technology forum worldwide, to demonstrate its novel Empirical ESD Simulation Flow of ESD protection circuits for reliable chip design. ESD protection is part of every IC developed in the world and is part of all of TowerJazz customers’ products. Empirical ESD Simulation Flow is a unique foundry offering which supports TowerJazz customers by enabling an optimized solution both in terms of cost and first time success.

This new simulation concept from TowerJazz is designed to protect electronic devices in the case of an ESD event, the sudden flow of electricity between two electronically charged objects (caused by contact, an electrical short, or dielectric breakdown), which can cause permanent damage or failure of solid state electronics components such as integrated circuits (ICs). Tailored ESD protection design is especially crucial in applications where I/O customization is required such as in power management and CMOS image sensors.

ESD is a major challenge in IC design as it involves multiple electrical device phenomena which cannot be simulated properly by conventional tools. Due to this complexity, often times there are field-failures or over-design of ESD structures, making them too large in size and thus increasing die cost. TowerJazz addresses the challenges in ESD protection design, which today lacks simple simulation capability. The absence of reliable simulation tools may lead to ESD designs where the IC’s core circuits are exposed to excessive voltages developed during ESD current flow. The methods available so far to enable simulation of ESD protection circuits are limited and involve complex development of compact models.

TowerJazz’s new concept of Empirical ESD Modeling enables dynamic simulation of ESD protection circuits. It is demonstrated on snapback type protection devices which lack simulation models for most manufacturing technologies offered by foundries. The new concept is based on real device measurements as opposed to theoretical calculations, therefore providing more accurate and reliable simulation data for a given technology. Implemented on a variety of circuits, it is demonstrated directly on the IC layout using a fully automated flow. All steps included in the preparation of the simulation are done in the background without involvement of the designer.

“We are pleased to present this novel concept of Empirical ESD Modeling at the EOS/ESD 2016 Symposium,” said Raz Reshef, Director of IC Design, TowerJazz. “Based on close relationships with our customers and evaluation of designers’ needs, TowerJazz has developed a wide range of devices and protection schemes covering various IC pin types and specifications.”

Dr. Efraim Aharoni, TowerJazz Leader of ESD Development and Customer Support, will present “Empirical ESD Simulation Flow for ESD Protection Circuits Based on Snapback Devices” at EOS/ESD on September 14, 2016 in the session on EDA tools for ESD validation. In addition to the presentation, a 10-page paper will be published in the conference proceedings.

Empirical ESD Modeling is an additional important development in TowerJazz’s state-of-the-art ESD offering. In particular, TowerJazz offers a full ESD solution including scalable voltage ESD devices, scalable rating ESD devices, ESD pcells, and programmable electronic rules check (PERC).



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