Tonight, at the opening of the 50th Design Automation Conference in Austin, I was moved to see Dr. Chenmin Hu receive this year’s EDAC Phil Kaufman Award. He has not only earned the industry’s respect for his professional accomplishments, but he has also climbed Mt Everest, raced Formula 1, and demonstrated his priority for family. While the masses mindlessly await the next tablet or smartphone, few appreciate those special individuals that change the very foundation of our industry for the better. While many know that FinFET transistors are all the rage in the semiconductor industry, many do not know that Dr. Hu is the father of FinFET, just as he is the father of the “BSIM” SPICE model. The ability to create an accurate model of a device is just as critical as the ability to manufacture it. Our entire industry, be it digital, analog, RF, or photonic, spanning every market segment, is built up from a foundation of SPICE-class transistor models, which for 17 years have been tested and standardized by a large industry group called the Compact Model Council (CMC).
Friday, Si2 and TechAmerica announced the transfer of the CMC into Si2. The CMC, formed in 1996, develops and standardizes compact models of electronic devices used within commercial circuit simulators across the electronics industry, including virtually all SPICE-class simulation. The CMC will be renamed the Compact Model Coalition to blend with Si2’s organizational structure. The CMC, represented by 37 member companies, supports 20 active subcommittees and has produced over a dozen widely-used standard device models, modeling API, and SPICE language standard. This includes the new BSIM6 model, which was released by Dr. Hu’s team on May 5th, and features charge conservation model symmetry for improved accuracy in all regions of operation. Standards now in development include models for ET-SOI and GaN FET, and a reliability modeling API based upon TMI2.
This is a major announcement. Not only is the CMC an excellent fit with Si2’s mission and scope, but we anticipate strong technical leverage with Si2’s other six standardization projects, as well as improved economies of scale. The addition of the CMC further strengthens the Si2 organization, where our corporate membership now tops 100 and represents 19 of the top 20 semiconductor companies.
If you will be at DAC this week, there will be several opportunities to hear the CMC’s Chair and Vice-Chair speak in Si2’s new booth stage during the week. If not, then please contact Si2 to get details and learn how to participate.
Steve Schulz is president and CEO of Si2
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