Using a Device State Library to Boost the Performance of TCAD Mixed-Mode Simulation

Xiaoliang Dai, Niraj K. Jha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Technology computer-aided design (TCAD) device and small circuit simulations use numerical and physics models to investigate the properties and performance of circuits before they undergo fabrication. Thus, these simulations play a significant role in VLSI design, optimization, and verification. However, they suffer from poor convergence and high CPU times, especially when performing TCAD mixed-mode simulations. In this paper, we propose a new simulation flow to address this challenge. We use device states captured from single devices to build a device state library. Then, we leverage device-level solutions to form a global initial guess for circuit-level simulations that are based on the full Newton algorithm. This leads to a significant efficiency enhancement. The average speedup for quasi-stationary (or dc) operating point establishment for a standard cell library and a mirror adder is 6.9 × and 21.2 ×, respectively, whereas the CPU time for static random access memory static noise margin extraction is reduced by 47.0%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7956201
Pages (from-to)2616-2624
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) Systems
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Device simulation
  • FinFET
  • initial guess
  • mixed-mode simulation
  • technology computer-aided design (TCAD) simulation


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