Table of Contents
VLSI Design
Volume 10, Issue 4, Pages 391-414

Advanced Numerical Methods and Software Approaches for Semiconductor Device Simulation

1ASE-EM, TICAM, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712, USA
2Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM 87185, USA

Received 16 December 1998; Accepted 14 December 1999

Copyright © 2000 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.


In this article we concisely present several modern strategies that are applicable to driftdominated carrier transport in higher-order deterministic models such as the driftdiffusion, hydrodynamic, and quantum hydrodynamic systems. The approaches include extensions of “upwind” and artificial dissipation schemes, generalization of the traditional Scharfetter – Gummel approach, Petrov – Galerkin and streamline-upwind Petrov Galerkin (SUPG), “entropy” variables, transformations, least-squares mixed methods and other stabilized Galerkin schemes such as Galerkin least squares and discontinuous Galerkin schemes. The treatment is representative rather than an exhaustive review and several schemes are mentioned only briefly with appropriate reference to the literature. Some of the methods have been applied to the semiconductor device problem while others are still in the early stages of development for this class of applications. We have included numerical examples from our recent research tests with some of the methods. A second aspect of the work deals with algorithms that employ unstructured grids in conjunction with adaptive refinement strategies. The full benefits of such approaches have not yet been developed in this application area and we emphasize the need for further work on analysis, data structures and software to support adaptivity. Finally, we briefly consider some aspects of software frameworks. These include dial-an-operator approaches such as that used in the industrial simulator PROPHET, and object-oriented software support such as those in the SANDIA National Laboratory framework SIERRA.