Software Tools Tackle MEMS Design

Designers of microelectromechanical system (MEMS) chips and components now have a dedicated design and analysis software suite: CoventorWare 2004 from Coventor (Cary, NC). Aimed at integrated-circuit (IC) designers, package designers, and MEMS process engineers, the software suite is meant to be complementary to existing electronic-design-automation (EDA) tools from Synopsys and Cadence Design Systems.

The CoventorWare 2004 suite includes four software products to create, model, analyze and integrate MEMS devices: Architect(TM), Designer(TM), Analyzer(TM) and Integrator(TM). New components have been added to the Architect library including new beam actuator models for modeling thermally or piezoelectrically actuated devices such as mirrors, and membrane models for modeling pressure sensors. In addition, transient simulations in Architect have been dramatically speeded up for faster design iterations. Designer includes enhanced layout editor features including design rule checks for small edges, enhanced file transfers and easier layout manipulation for reduced layout errors. Analyzer has new analysis capabilities, including new post-processing options that complement its best-in-class support for designing piezoelectric RF resonators such as film-bulk-acoustic-resonator (FBAR) filters and diplexers. Finally, Integrator now exports reduced-order macromodels of MEMS to the popular Cadence Virtuoso environment as well as to Synopsys Saber. The exported models support co-simulation of ICs and MEMS earlier in the product cycle.

CoventorWare 2004 is complemented by MEMulator 2004, a new product that emulates a wide range of MEMS and semiconductor fabrication processes. Designers and process engineers can save fabrication cycles by using MEMulator to build 3D virtual prototypes before undertaking actual fabrication. For more information on the MEMS modeling tools, contact Coventor by e-mail at [email protected] or visit the company's web site.

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