Fabrication processes for MEMS are characterized by a variety of different process technologies and materials.
Unlike in microelectronics the fabrication process is relevant to all design stages within the design flow. Discovering
the correct combination of process steps, materials and process parameters usually requires a large number
of experiments. This paper presents a new software system that supports the MEMS designers in managing their
process knowledge and in performing virtual experiments using SILVACO TCAD tools.
In MEMS design many different fabrication techniques and materials are involved and the strong dependency between microstructure and fabrication process leads to application specific fabrication processes. A comprehensive management of process knowledge is required to take into account the various interdependencies and constraints occurring within a MEMS fabrication process. This paper presents an environment for the management of process knowledge and provides support for the design and verification of application specific fabrication processes.
A MEMS process design, development and tracking system is presented. It allows the specification of processes for specific applications and the tracking of the development procedures. The system consists of several components. Based on a comprehensive database that is able to store and manage all process related design constraint data as well as development related data linked to the fabrication process itself. A design model representing the relations between application specific fabrication processes and the structural design flow will be presented. Subsequently the software environment, called PROMENADE, will be introduced meeting the requirements of this process approach.
A design model representing the relations between application specific fabrication processes and the structural design flow will be presented. Subsequently a MEMS process design, simulation and tracking system, called PROMENADE, is introduced. It allows the specification of processes for specific applications, the simulation and the tracking of the development procedures.
MEMS fabrication processes are characterized by a numerous useable process steps, materials and effects to fabricate the intended microstructure. Up to now CAD support in this domain concentrates mainly on the structural design (e.g. simulation programs on FEM basis). These tools often assume fixed interfaces to fabrication process like material parameters or design rules. Taking into account that MEMS design requires concurrently structural design (defining the lateral 2-dim shapes) as well as process design (responsible for the third dimension) it turns out that technology interfaces consisting only of sets of static data are no longer sufficient. For successful design flows in these areas it is necessary to incorporate a higher degree of process related data. A broader interface between process configuration on the one side and the application design on the other side seems to be needed. This paper proposes a novel approach. A process management system is introduced. It allows the specification of processes for specific applications. The system is based on a dedicated database environment that is able to store and manage all process related design constraints linked to the fabrication process data itself. The interdependencies between application specific processes and all stages of the design flow will be discussed and the complete software system PRINCE will be introduced meeting the requirements of this new approach.
Based on a concurrent design methodology presented in the beginning of this paper, a system is presented that supports application specific process design. The paper will highlight the incorporated tools and the present status of the software system. A complete configuration of an Si-thin film process example will demonstrate the usage of PRINCE.
A process management and development system for MEMS design is introduced. It allows the specification of processes for specific applications and the tracking of the development procedures. The system is based on a dedicated database environment that is able to store and manage all process related design constraints and development related data linked to the fabrication process data itself. The interdependencies between application specific processes and all stages of the design flow will be discussed and a software system will be introduced meeting the requirements of this new approach. Although initially dedicated to microsystem processes this environment may also support nanoelectronic fabrication technologies.
New microfabrication technologies in the MEMS domain require novel approaches in computer aided design. Process issues in these technologies affecting the design are becoming increasingly important and Process information held in static design rule sets will be no longer sufficient. This paper describes the methodology and the implementation of a process management system that supports the designer in configuring application specific process flows with predictable properties.
Taking into account the tendency towards higher integration based on sophisticated technologies in microelectronics or the use of specific process steps for the realization of MEMS it becomes evident that the impact of properties and parameters from fabrication processes are getting more and more important. For long the interface between the design domain and the process domain was simply expressed in design rules sets. With the use of high resolution and new IC technology steps the interface gets more complex. As far as MEMS are concerned the technology issues are too dominating for fixed interfaces to the design. Novel approaches are necessary to support future design tasks in the area covered by process development on the one hand and application/structure design on the other hand, considering structural design specifications as well as process flow requirements. This paper describes the development of a process design and management environment that supports process engineers and designers to determine valid process step sequences for specific applications and to derive all characterization data from process flows that are relevant for design stages. This environment (acronym PRINCE) is developed in cooperation with a major European MEMS foundry. It is based on a common data base where all process steps and their characterizations as well as derived rules are stored. Users are able to compose process flows on a graphical editor. Consistency violations such as missing or wrong placed process steps within a complete process flow will automatically be detected. Future work will integrate algorithms to optimize process flows.
Microfabrication technologies require adequate design methodologies since there is a strong interaction between the shape or the layout of microstructures and their fabrication process sequence. Both areas are subject of design. This paper gives an overview over the different design methodologies in design of microstructures focusing on fabrication process design. To derive the novel design models, the different approaches in digital, analog, mixed-signal, and MEMS design are described. The second part of the paper addresses the state of the art in process flow design tools. Eventually a new software environment based on the design models is presented that is based on current software technologies and platform independent programming