Signal and power integrity co-simulation using the multi-layer finite difference method
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Mixed signal system-on-package (SoP) technology is a key enabler for increasing functional integration, especially in mobile and wireless systems. Due to the presence of multiple dissimilar modules, each having unique power supply requirements, the design of the power distribution network (PDN) becomes critical. Typically, this PDN is designed as alternating layers of power and ground planes with signal interconnects routed in between or on top of the planes. The goal for the simulation of multi-layer power/ground planes, is the following: Given a stack-up and other geometrical information, it is required to find the network parameters (S/Y/Z) between port locations. Commercial packages have extremely complicated stack-ups, and the trend to increasing integration at the package level only points to increasing complexity. It is computationally intractable to solve these problems using these existing methods. The approach proposed in this thesis for obtaining the response of the PDN is the multi-layer finite difference method (M-FDM). A surface mesh / finite difference based approach is developed, which leads to a system matrix that is sparse and banded, and can be solved efficiently. The contributions of this research are the following: 1. The development of a PDN modeler for multi-layer packages and boards called the the multi-layer finite difference method. 2. The enhancement of M-FDM using multi-port connection networks to include the effect of fringe fields and gap coupling. 3. An adaptive triangular mesh based scheme called the multi-layer finite element method (MFEM) to address the limitations of M-FDM 4. The use of modal decomposition for the co-simulation of signal nets with the PDN. 5. The use of a robust GA-based optimizer for the selection and placement of decoupling capacitors in multi-layer geometries. 6. Implementation of these methods in a tool called MSDT 1.