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CAD Methods for Analogue GaAs Monolithic ICs

Objective

The final objective of this project was to make available a comprehensive CAD package, MMIC-CAD, suitable for the design of GaAs ICs operating up to 18GHz. The package would utilise the development of a full CAD library of theoretical models on the one h and, and experimental data for passive elements and active components required for the design of GaAs analogue ICs.
The final objective of this project was to make available a comprehensive computer aided design (CAD) package, MMIC-CAD, suitable for the design of gallium arsenide (GaAs) integrated circuits (IC) operating up to 18 GHz.

The work started by deriving physical models and equivalent circuits for different types of metal semiconductor field effect transistor (MESFET) and passive elements both for lumped and distributed approaches. A rigorous and performant physical, electrical and thermal model of the MESFET structure was developed. The next step was the CAD of groups of passive and active devices for the integrated implementation of elementary functions. Here, besides circuit analysis, coupling between adjacent elements and thermal distribution was also simulted. The CAD capability has been proven with different gallium arsenide IC demonstrators, including dual gate mixers and broadband distributed amplifiers designed using the DGMIX and DAMP programmes developed within this programme.

The MMIC-CAD package developed within this programme has been installed in a gallium arsenide foundry and many problems have been identified and corrected.

At the end of the project a prototype derivative of the MMIC-CAD package, OCTOPUS System, was demonstrated.
The operating environment is as follows :
Compound semiconductors and other nonsilicon technologies/Computer aided design (CAD) and design methodologies
The work started by deriving physical models and equivalent circuits for different types of MESFET and passive elements both for lumped and distributed approaches. A rigorous and performant physical, electrical and thermal model of the MESFET structure was developed. The next step was the CAD of groups of passive and active devices for the integrated implementation of elementary functions. Here, besides circuit analysis, coupling between adjacent elements and thermal distribution was also simulated. The CAD capability has been proven with different GaAs IC demonstrators, including dual gate mixers and broadband distributed amplifiers designed using the DGMIX and DAMP programmes developed within this programme. This had generally worked well in comparing predictions and measurements and was the starting point for further work.
Following a major review and in the light of updated requirements for activity in this area, the work programme was reorganised towards a more focused final objective: the development of an advanced analogue GaAs-IC design capability, the MMIC-CAD package. The MMIC-CAD package developed within this programme has been installed in a GaAs-IC foundry and many problems have been identified and corrected.
Exploitation
At the end of the project a prototype derivative of the MMIC-CAD package, OCTOPUS System, was demonstrated. This was an excellent demonstration; the package seems a powerful piece of software in comparison to commercial packages, opening the way for significant commercial exploitation by Argumens, a small European software house. In addition, the results of this project are expected to be directly applicable to other ESPRIT projects and to affect a highly important application area, high-frequency telecommunications.

Coordinator

Telettra SpA
Address
Via Tremo 30
20059 Vimercate Milano
Italy

Participants (3)

Centro Informazioni Studi ed Esperienze SpA
Italy
Address
Via Reggio Emilia 39
20090 Segrate
POLITECNICO DI TORINO
Italy
Address
Corso Duca Degli Abruzzi 24
10129 Torino
Siemens AG
Germany
Address
Balanstraße 73
81541 München