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VLSI Design
Volume 10 (2000), Issue 4, Pages 355-389

Electro-thermal Modelling of Monolithic and Hybrid Microwave and Millimeter Wave IC's

1lnstitute of Microwaves and Photonics, School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, The University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK
2Filtronic plc, The Waterfront, Salts Mill Road, Shipley BD18 3TT, UK

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.


The first completely physical electro-thermal model is presented that is capable of describing the large signal performance of MESFET- and HEMT-based, high power microwave and millimeter wave monolithic and hybrid ICs, on timescales suitable for CAD. The model includes the effects of self-heating and mutual thermal interaction on active device performance with full treatment of all thermal non linearities. The electrical description is provided by the rapid quasi-2D Leeds Physical Model and the steady-state global thermal description is provided by a highly accurate and computationally inexpensive analytical thermal resistance matrix approach. The order of the global thermal resistance matrix describing 3-dimensional heat flow in complex systems, is shown to be determined purely by the number of active device elements, not the level of internal device structure. Thermal updates in the necessarily iterative, fully coupled electro-thermal solution, therefore reduce to small matrix multiplications implying orders of magnitude speed-up compared to the use of full numerical thermal solutions capable of comparable levels of detail and accuracy.