SAGE Design Automation, USA
TCAD and the Digital Twin
Digital twins are virtual representations of physical systems. They can be used to compare the actual performance of their physical counterpart to the intended performance, by feeding them with real time data. This allows to spot emerging problems, plan maintenance, simulate upgrades, etc. “Slow” but accurate digital twins focus on predictive power rather than on real time monitoring. Their use enables more effective design of products, optimization of existing processes, defect formation, etc. It has been argued that digital twins provide systems with awareness of how its various components are performing.
TCAD forms the basis for creating digital twins of semiconductor devices and manufacturing processes. This presentation sketches the variety of models and their speed- accuracy tradeoff used in TCAD. Advances in speed and accuracy are being driven by moving towards atomistic modeling, including input from actual manufacturing equipment, exploiting massive compute power, using ML to process large amounts of data and refine models, etc. Virtual semiconductor fabs may not be far away, the industry stands to profit from it.
Raúl is currently the CTO of Silvaco. He is also a partner at Silicon Catalyst, an incubator for semiconductor solutions, and lecturer on EDA and Machine Learning Hardware at Stanford. He was previously an advisor to Applied Materials and the CEO of Sage Design Automation acquired by Applied in 2020. He was also CEO of Nimbic, acquired by Mentor Graphics in 2014. Raúl spent most of his career with Synopsys, where he served as Chief Technology Officer, Senior Vice President, and General Manager. Prior to joining Synopsys, he was a Director for the German National Research Center for Computer Science, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Paderborn, and a Research Staff Member at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center. Raúl holds a B.S and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Chile, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Karlsruhe. He has published over 70 technical papers and written and/or edited three books on electronic design automation. Raúl has contributed significantly to building the design community serving on numerous editorial, advisory and company boards. Raúl was also an Advisory Professor at Fudan University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He was elected a Fellow of the IEEE in 1999 and to the board of directors of ESDA (aka EDAC, the EDA Consortium) in 2012.
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