Multiscale EM and circuit simulation using the Laguerre-FDTD scheme for package-aware integrated-circuit design
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The objective of this research work is to develop an efficient methodology for chip-package cosimulation. In the traditional design flow, the integrated circuit (IC) is first designed followed by the package design. The disadvantage of the conventional sequential design flow is that if there are problems with signal and power integrity after the integration of the IC and the package, it is expensive and time consuming to go back and change the IC layout for a different input/output (IO) pad assignment. To overcome this limitation, a concurrent design flow, where both the IC and the package are designed together, has been recommended by researchers to obtain a fast design closure. The techniques from this research work will enable multiscale cosimulation of the chip and the package making the concurrent design flow paradigm possible. Traditional time-domain techniques, such as the finite-difference time-domain method, are limited by the Courant condition and are not suitable for chip-package cosimulation. The Courant condition gives an upper bound on the time step that can be used to obtain stable simulation results. The smaller the mesh dimension the smaller is the Courant time step. In the case of chip-package cosimulation the on-chip structures require a fine mesh, which can make the time step prohibitively small. An unconditionally stable scheme using Laguerre polynomials has been recommended for chip-package cosimulation. Prior limitations in this method have been overcome in this research work. The enhanced transient simulation scheme using Laguerre polynomials has been named SLeEC, which stands for simulation using Laguerre equivalent circuit. A full-wave EM simulator has been developed using the SLeEC methodology. A scheme for efficient use of full-wave solver for chip-package cosimulation has been proposed. Simulation of the entire chip-package structure using a full-wave solver could be a memory and time-intensive operation. A more efficient way is to separate the chip-package structure into the chip, the package signal-delivery network, and the package power-delivery network; use a full-wave solver to simulate each of these smaller subblocks and integrate them together in the following step, before a final simulation is done on the integrated network. Examples have been presented that illustrate the technique.