How TCAD Can Optimize Power Electronics

The power electronics (PE) market is growing rapidly, driven by the accelerating demand of EV and HEV vehicles. Power devices lend themselves to design and manufacturing innovations at the transistor-level to improve device performance and reduce development and production costs. Silicon-carbide (SiC), gallium-nitride (GaN), and other wide bandgap materials have started to replace silicon in high-voltage power devices. Anyone designing and/or manufacturing silicon, SiC, or GaN technologies for the power device market, should use TCAD simulations as part of their R&D efforts, to understand their devices in greater detail and improve their key Figures of Merit. Silvaco TCAD is a market leader in simulation for power devices and its products have been used by foundries and fabless semiconductor companies, worldwide, for over 25 years.

TCAD modeling of power technologies allows device engineers to make virtual changes in operating conditions, the device technology i.e. planar versus trench-based structure, or in semiconductor technology such as doping and layer thicknesses. This exploration builds qualitative then quantitative understanding of devices. Iterative simulation then allows engineers to optimize device performance and operating area.

Planar vs. trench cell in an IGBT device


Process simulation of key steps to fabricate a Split-Gate UMOSFET

With optimized devices, engineers can produce better semiconductor products and reduce the time to reach volume production, by decreasing the number of prototype wafers that need to be manufactured and characterized. Another benefit for fabless product engineers, is the ability to suggest improvements in the manufacturing process to their chosen foundry to improve yield and performance.

Typical device types for each kind of material are listed here:

  • Silicon: LDMOS, IGBT, Bipolar, DMOSFET, Schottky Diode, Thyristor
  • SiC – Diode, MOSFET, DMOSFET, IGBT
  • GaN – Diode, Lateral HEMT, Vertical HEMT

Silvaco TCAD process and device modeling solutions allows users to virtually prototype realistic devices in 2D or 3D, and explore device performance in DC, AC and transient simulations. Additionally, the capability to pair a physics-based TCAD device (or devices) with a surrounding SPICE circuit allows users to explore the performance of their devices in realistic circuits.

To learn more about 2D/3D Device simulation, Process simulation and Design Technology Co-Optimization to improve power electronics go to our new Power Solutions page, where you will find a new whitepaper and other resources.

We also have an upcoming power electronics webinar by one of our technical experts, Dr. David Green:

SiC and Other Wide Bandgap Materials: From Process to Device Simulation
October 31st 2019 | 10:00 am – 11:00 am (PDT)

This webinar provides an overview of Silvaco’s TCAD tools. It introduces Silvaco’s process and device simulation capabilities for wide bandgap materials. In addition, various practical examples are demonstrated and discussed, such as SiC JBS diodes and GaN FETs.

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