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March 14, 2008

Mtg: Using Thermal Analysis as a Tool to Aid Analog Floorplanning

by @ 3:15 pm. Filed under ALL, Communications, Computers/Software, Electronics Design, Engineering Mgmt, Semiconductors

MONDAY March 17
SCV Circuits and Systems Chapter
Speaker: David Schwan, CAD and Layout Manager, RFMD
Time: Fast Food & drinks at 6:30 PM, Presentation at 7:00 PM
Cost: none
Place: Cadence Design Systems, Building 5, 655 Seely Avenue, San Jose
RSVP: not required

Todays’ IC designers are being driven to reduce area and increase performance and power-efficiency. Local circuit temperature can affect circuit performance, speed and current consumption, as well create reliability problems like electro-migration and thermal-runaway. ? Temperature can be an engineered parameter, like voltage current, or resistance; instead of the traditional “seat of the pants” guess-temics. ? Design can be done without impacting reliability or performance, by looking at thermal maps of the circuit, thus aiding the floor-planning process to reduce temperatures, allowing transistors to operate in potentially more usable regions or to reduce temperature deltas in sensitive areas of the design; this can translate to lower operating currents, meaning greater efficiency. ? Since electro-migration is a function of temperature, current densities in metal traces are typically derated at higher temperatures. Lowering the operating temperature can mean narrower power traces, potentially reducing interconnect parasitics, or improved reliability. ? The presentation will show results from using Gradient Design Automation’s CircuitFire to iterate placement of the transistors in a 1.9GHz 24dBM power amplifier, and the resulting effect on (predicted) operating temperature, and PA power efficiency.

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