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VLSI Design
Volume 8 (1998), Issue 1-4, Pages 495-500

Advantages of Semiconductor Device Simulator Combining Electromagnetic and Electron Transport Models

Department of Electrical Engineering, Telecommunications Research Center, Arizona State University, Tempe 85287-7206, AZ, USA

Received 18 May 1997; Accepted 10 July 1997

Copyright © 1998 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Physical simulation of semiconductor devices at high frequencies involves not only semiconductor transport issues but also electromagnetic wave propagation issues. In order to obtain the nonlinear and the large-signal characteristics of the semiconductor devices, an electromagnetic model should replace the traditional quasi-static model in the device simulator. In this paper, the advantages of a semiconductor device simulator combining an electromagnetic and an electron transport models are presented. This study is based on a semiconductor device simulator that couples a semiconductor model to the 3D time-domain solution of Maxwell's equations. The electromagnetic wave propagation effects on the millimeter-wave FETs are thoroughly analyzed. The use of the electromagnetic model over the conventional quasi-static model provides the actual device response at high frequencies. It also shows the nonlinear energy build-up along the device width whereas the quasi-static model provides a linear increase of energy. The combined model is capable of predicting the device nonlinearity and harmonic distortion of amplifier circuits at large signal.