Silvaco International and its subsidiary, Silvaco Data Systems, is a privately owned provider of electronic design automation (EDA) software. Silvaco was founded in 1984 by Dr. Ivan Pesic. It is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, with 11 offices worldwide. In 2006, Silvaco had about 250 employees worldwide.
The company delivers products for TCAD process and device simulation. Until recently it also supplied SPICE parameter extraction, circuit simulation, interconnect modelling and custom IC design and verification tools, but these non-TCAD products are now delivered by Simucad, a spin-off from Silvaco.
Silvaco provides analog semiconductor process, device and design automation solutions in CMOS, bipolar, SiGe and compound technologies. Customers include leading fabless semiconductor companies, integrated semiconductor manufacturers, foundries, and universities worldwide.
In June 2004, Silvaco's non-TCAD business was spun off into a company called Simucad
. This company has acquired the rights to all of Silvaco's simulation and CAD products.
ATHENA Process Simulation Framework
enables process and integration engineers to develop and optimize semiconductor manufacturing processes. ATHENA provides a platform for simulating ion implantation, diffusion, etching, deposition, lithography, oxidation, and silicidation of semiconductor materials. It replaces costly wafer experiments with simulations. The ATHENA framework includes the following modules:
- SSuprem4 - 2D Process Simulation Software. A 1D and 2D process simulator that is used in the semiconductor industry for design, analysis and optimization of various fabrication technologies. SSuprem4 simulates all major process steps in modern technology by using a wide range of advanced physical models for diffusion, implantation, oxidation, silicidation and epitaxy. Within the ATHENA framework, SSuprem4 is integrated with Optolith for photolithography simulation, Elite for physical etching and deposition simulation, and MCImplant for Monte Carlo ion implantation.
- MC Implant - 1D, 2D and 3D Monte-Carlo Implantation Simulator. A 3D ion-implantation simulator for the modeling of ion-stopping and implant ranges in amorphous and crystalline materials. It provides bi-directional integration with SSuprem4 allowing modeling of the implantation process for all available impurity/target material combinations and in arbitrary geometries.
- Elite - 2D Etch and Deposition Simulator. A 2D topography simulator for modeling physical etch, deposition, reflow and CMP planarization processes for modern IC technologies. It provides seamless bi-directional integration with SSuprem4 and Optolith process simulators, and contains an additional MC Etch/Depo module which provides several Monte Carlo-based atomistic models.
- MC Etch/Depo - 2D Monte Carlo Deposition and Etch Module. A topology simulation module interfaced with Elite. The module includes several Monte Carlo-based models for simulation of various etch and deposit processes which use fluxes of atomic particles.
- Optolith - 2D Optical Lithography Simulator. A non-planar 2D lithography simulator that models all aspects of modern deep sub-micrometre lithography: imaging, exposure, photoresist bake and development. It provides an alternative to experimental studies for evaluation mask printability and process control. Optolith is interfaced to all commercial IC layout tools conforming to GDSII and CIF formats. It provides integration with in-wafer diffusion, implantation, etching and deposition simulation capabilities. This simulation environment provides users with a process simulation-coupled and topography-dependent tool for evaluating the true printability of resist profiles.
- SSuprem3 - 1D Process Simulation. A general-purpose one-dimensional (1D) process simulator used in the prediction of doping profiles and layer thicknesses produced by semiconductor processing. It can run interactively under DeckBuild for editing process simulation input files and under TonyPlot for graphics and post-processing. SSuprem3 provides interfaces to device simulators that enable simulated profiles to be input for device-level simulation. SSuprem3 uses a built-in electrical solver to extract threshold voltages.
ATLAS Device Simulation Framework
enables device technology engineers to simulate the electrical, optical, and thermal behavior of semiconductor devices. It provides a physics-based, modular, and extensible platform to analyze DC, AC, and time domain responses for all semiconductor based technologies in 2 and 3 dimensions. The ATLAS framework consists of the following tools:
- Device3D - 3D Device Simulator for silicon and advanced materials-based technologies.
- TFT2D/3D Amorphous and Polycrystalline Device Simulator is a 3D device simulator for silicon and advanced materials-based technologies.
- Blaze - Simulates devices fabricated using advanced materials. It includes a library of compound semiconductors which includes ternary and quaternary materials. Blaze has built-in models for graded and abrupt heterojunctions, and simulates binary structures such as MESFETS, HEMT’s and HBT’s.
- LASER - The world’s first commercially available simulator for semiconductor laserdiodes. Works in conjunction with Blaze to provide numerical solutions for the electrical behavior (DC and transient responses) and optical behavior of edge emitting Fabry-Perot type lasers diodes.
- VCSEL - Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser Simulations. Used in to produce physically based simulations of vertical cavity surface emitting lasers (VCSELs). VCSEL obtains electrical and thermal behavior with models for optical behavior.
- Luminous 2D/3D - Optoelectric Device Simulation. A device simulator designed to model light absorption and photogeneration in non-planar semiconductor devices. Exact solutions for general optical sources are obtained using geometric ray tracing. This feature enables Luminous2D/3D to account for arbitrary topologies, internal and external reflections and refractions, polarization dependencies and dispersion. Luminous2D/3D is integrated within ATLAS with a link to S-Pisces and Blaze device simulators, and other ATLAS device technology modules.
- Giga2D/3D - Non-Isothermal Device Simulator. Combined with S-Pisces and Blaze device simulators, it allows simulation of local thermal effects. Models in Giga2D/3D include heat generation, heat flow, lattice heating, heat sinks, and effects of local temperature on physical constants. Thermal and electrical physical effects are coupled through self-consistent calculations.
- MixedMode2D/3D - Circuit Simulation for Advanced Devices. A circuit simulator that includes physically-based devices in addition to compact analytical models. Physically-based devices are used when accurate compact models do not exist, or when devices that play a critical role must be simulated with very high accuracy. The physically-based devices may be simulated using any combination of ATLAS products. The physically-based devices are placed alongside a circuit description that conforms to a SPICE netlist format. The applications of MixedMode2D/3D include power circuits, high performance digital circuits, precision analog circuits, high-frequency circuits, thin film transistor circuits, and optoelectronic circuits.
- Quantum - Simulation Models for Quantum Confinement Effects. Quantum provides a set of models for simulation of various effects of quantum confinement of carriers in semiconductor devices. A self consistent Schrödinger - Poisson solver allows calculation of bound state energies and associated carrier wave function self consistently with electrostatic potential. A Quantum moment transport model allow simulation of confinement effects on carrier transport. The Van Dort and Hansch models provide semi-empirical simulation of confinement effects on MOS devices. A quantum wells for gain and spontaneous recombination in light emitting devices. Quantum also has non-local tunneling models which calculate tunneling current by solving the Schrödinger equation. These can optionally include the effects of quantum confinement on tunneling currents.
- Noise - 2D Small-Signal Noise Simulator. Noise combined with S-Pisces or Blaze allows analysis of the small-signal noise generated within semiconductor devices. Noise provides accurate characterization of all small-signal noise sources and extracts figures of merit which are needed for optimizating circuit design.
- Thermal3D - General heatflow simulation module that predicts heatflow from any power generating devices (not limited to semiconductor devices), typically through a substrate(s) and into the package(s) and/or heatsink(s) via the bonding medium. Operating temperatures for packaged and heat sinked devices or systems can be predicted for the design and optimization phase or for general system analysis.
MERCURY Fast Device Simulation Framework
is a MESFET and HEMT simulation framework which contains: FastBlaze, FastNoise, FastDevEdit and Mocasim. FastBlaze device simulator uses physics based calculations to generate highly accurate electrical characteristics of MESFET and HEMT devices. Mocasim calculates fundamental electron transport properties of Zincblende and Wurtzite semiconductors. MERCURY framework combines the speed of FastBlaze with the Monte Carlo flexibility of Mocasim to perform statistical design of MESFET and HEMT devices.
Virtual Wafer Fab
s an integrated environment of TCAD software to automate and emulate physical wafer manufacturing. These integrated tools facilitate the input, execution, run-time optimization, and results processing of TCAD simulations into one flow managed through a common database.
Founded in 1984, the company recently spun out its circuit simulation, parasitic extraction and IC CAD products as Simucad Design Automation so that Silvaco can focus exclusively on TCAD. The company delivers its Stanford-based TCAD products with support and engineering services to provide semiconductor process and device simulation solutions. Worldwide customers include leading foundries, fabless semiconductor companies, integrated semiconductor manufacturers, universities, and semiconductor designers who require the broadest model support, highest accuracy and optimal performance.
The company is privately held, internally funded, debt-free, and owns all of its office buildings. It is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, with eight offices worldwide to support its international customer base with applications engineers. Silvaco products are also distributed in North America through Simucad's offices in Austin TX, North Chelmsford MA, and Phoenix AZ.