PORTLAND, Ore. Cadence Design Systems Inc. has teamed with Coventor Inc. on what the pair says is the first environment to allow 3-D microelectromechanical system (MEMS) models to be designed and simulated in tandem with CMOS integrated circuitry. MEMS+IC is debuting in Munich Germany, at Cadence's CDNLive EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) conference, which opens today (May 18).
Traditionally, MEMS chip design requires a separate design effort for a CMOS application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), whether the two are destined for separate chips or are to be housed on the same die. The MEMS structures are designed using a 3-D computer-aided design (CAD) system, and tedious hand translation of process parameters is required when transferring the MEMS design to a semiconductor circuit simulator and verification tool.
Coventor (Cary, N.C.) worked with Cadence (San Jose, Calif .) to preset its new MEMS+ 3-D CAD offering to dovetail with Cadence's Virtuoso Schematic Editor, allowing automatic translation of all necessary dimensions and process parameters from MEMS+ to Virtuoso. MEMS+IC thus unites the two design efforts, enabling full co-simulation and co-verification.
"MEMS designers have a 3-D environment for creating their MEMS models; then they export all the views and files needed [for] layout in Cadence Virtuoso Schematic Editor," said Joost van Kuijk, vice president of marketing and business development at Coventor. "The models are heavily parameterized, so you can actually do all of the things you need to do over on the Cadence side."
MEMS+IC allows bidirectional transfer of 3-D behavioral models for the MEMS mechanical device between the Coventor 3-D CAD and Virtuoso EDA environments. "We are now able to take the MEMS model and perform simulation and verification across our simulation technologies," said John Pierce, director of marketing for analog simulation at Cadence.
Automatically transferring parameters into the EDA tool from the 3-D CAD environment not only saves time but also permits all manufacturing- and design-dependent variables to be tweaked after simulation, then transferred back to the 3-D CAD environment for visualization and for making changes to the MEMS device should they be required, the companies said.