Spectre Tech Tips: Introducing Electrothermal Simulation written by Fred Yang @ 26 Apr 2021

2021-07-09 14:39
Understanding the thermal performance of integrated circuits has been essential to avoid the overheating that can cause circuit malfunctions. With greater integration, the power dissipation in integrated circuits is becoming increasingly important in order to limit the on-chip temperature. Spectre provides thermal analysis of IC designs to help IC designers to manage thermally-aware designs and improve the thermal property of their products.
For example, for the chip design shown in the figure below, a thermal sensor is placed on the chip to monitor the temperature. However, the actual hot spot is located some distance away from the sensor. Because of the separation between the hot spot and the sensor, there is a temperature difference and thermal propagation delay between their thermal profiles. Therefore, the shutdown circuit needs to take into account the temperature difference and the delay in order to properly protect the circuit from overheating. Thermal analysis can be used to characterize the temperature difference and thermal propagation delay.
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