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Printed Electronics World
Posted on January 11, 2011 by  & 

Missing piece for printed technologies

The printed electronics industry is growing fast and the various available technologies evolve at a high pace. But, for now, very few commercial products have been designed using these technologies. There is a missing piece to move forward to products. A design kit is needed to allow the designers to create circuits. To build an efficient and usable design kit, designers need accurate and computationally efficient device simulation models.
So, an important question is how to get a good simulation model?
If we refer to the silicon world history, we can see that physical models (i.e. models based upon device physics) have been the reference for 40 years. When available, a physical model is usually the best as it is accurate enough and computationally efficient. However, developing a complete physical model including all physical effects in the device is usually a long and complex way. For example, the well-known BSIM models family, which has been developed in UC Berkeley for almost 40 years now, is still improved today.
When compared to the silicon world, printed electronics shows two main differences. First of all, a large number of semi-conducting materials are available for printed electronics, whereas only silicon is used in the classical semi-conductor industry. Secondly, a large number of geometries and 'printing' techniques are available. For silicon chips, a few basic production process steps are used (PVD, CVD, CMP ...). These two major differences lead to the fact that it is very difficult to get a physical model for the printed electronic industry that will accurately cover the various materials and geometries, while preserving the computational efficiency.
Infiniscale brings a unique solution to generate accurate device simulation models directly and automatically from measurements done on prototypes. Using GreenLys modeling solution, designers will drastically speeds up the simulation model creation and reduce the project time from months, or even years, to weeks.
Infiniscale methodology is based on 4 main steps. The first step is to fabricate the prototypes of the device, and perform some measurements (I-V curves, access capacitors, resistors ...). The second step is to create the models from the measurement results. This step is performed by GreenLys, and is fully automated. The user just needs to validate the model (i.e. accept the accuracy) at the end of the modeling phase. The third step is to plug the new model into the electrical simulator.
GreenLys has full support for Spectre, Eldo and HSpice, and is able to automatically plug the models into these simulators. Finally, the last step is to run the circuit simulations using the new model.
Thanks to its unique automated modeling technology, Infiniscale brings the missing piece enabling printed electronics circuit design. Infiniscale will continue developing GreenLys, turning it from a simple device simulation model generator to a complete solution to develop, manage and deploy complete design kits for the printed electronics industry.
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Guest article by
Dr Vincent Fischer
Project Director, Infiniscale SA France
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