Full-Wave 3D IC Sign-Off
by Bryon Moyer
June 22, 2012 at 11:57 AM
I mentioned Nimbic’s cloud moves the other day, but that’s just about the delivery vehicle for their tools. With respect to the tools themselves, their message at DAC this year was that they can now handle the package analysis needs of 3D IC projects with sign-off-level quality.
Those of us that are used to thinking in terms of die analysis might be given pause: multiple dice at advanced technology nodes, full wave, no shortcuts… wow, immense, right? Think about the grid you must need!
Well, not quite. This is package, not die, analysis. Bond pads and other package features aren’t shrinking quite as fast as the rest of the die, so what drives the challenge here is not so much a reduction in feature size, but increases in performance – that is, the wavelength of propagating signals. If the frequency doubles, then, because this is 3D, the mesh volume goes up by 8X.
Companies have been analyzing 3D ICs before now, but, according to Nimbic, they’ve been doing it by isolating critical geometries or partitioning the analysis and then reassembling the conclusions. So they say that this is the first opportunity to do the entire project in one go.