Si2 to develop standard SiC SPICE model

Si2 to develop standard SiC SPICE model

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

The Si2 Compact Model Coalition (CMC) has voted to fund and standardize a SPICE model for silicon carbide (SiC) metal-on-silicon field-effect transistors for photovoltaic inverters and converters, industrial motor drives, electric vehicle powertrain and EV charging, and power supply and distribution.

A CMC working group will oversee the model development to reduce the cost of interoperability in designs, says Peter Lee, chair of CMC. The SiC model group includes Analog Devices, Cadence Design Systems, Infineon, Qualcomm, Siemens EDA, Silvaco and Synopsys.

The decision to launch the working group came after the CMC evaluated the model’s ROI for members and interest by the industry at large. “I’d encourage companies with a stake in SiC devices to join this effort and help guide selection of the model which best represents their intended use,” said Lee. “They can benefit from both cost reduction that comes from shared model support and a standardized and qualified model that has ongoing bug fixes and requested feature enhancements from many like-minded companies.”

“Next Generation SiC MOSFETS has many features that make them suitable, and even superior to legacy silicon solutions, for several high voltage applications. While the devices can handle high-temperature and voltage, its minimal on-resistance allows smaller packages and better energy savings than comparable silicon devices,” said Colin Shaw from Silvaco, the working group chair.

The Si2 Compact Model Coalition provides semiconductor manufacturers, designers, and simulation tool providers a means to pool resources to fund standardization and optimization of standard compact SPICE models and standard interfaces to promote simulation tool interoperability.

The CMC also developed the Open Model Interface (OMI), a C-language application programming interface that supports SPICE compact model extensions. OMI allows circuit designers to simulate and analyse physical effects such as self-heating and aging, and perform extended design optimizations. It is based on TMI2, the TSMC Model Interface, which was donated to Si2 by TSMC in 2014. OMI supports four of CMC’s 13 SPICE models, including BSIM (Berkeley Short-channel IGFET Model)-BULK, a Bulk MOSFET model that provides excellent accuracy compared to measured data in all regions of operation and the BSIM-SOI (Silicon-On-Insulator) model formulated on top of the BSIM framework which accurately captures the complex physics in silicon-on-insulator devices used in logic and RF applications.

“The effort to create an industry standard involved the contributor, TSMC, along with over 40 individuals from CMC member companies,” said Shaw. “This release of OMI expands TMI2’s original capability to support of other key models, and is poised to streamline the designer’s optimization capability, as the ability to modify device parameters is standardized by foundries and simulation tool providers.”

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