Semiconductor companies are finding it increasingly difficult to routinely perform CDM tests with consistent results. Because CDM is directly affected by the environment, precise chip and package substrate data are needed to accurately define simulation variables. This data is more challenging than ever to obtain and simulate as dense monolithic SoCs typically include billions of circuits—while new multi-die systems introduce complex thermal and electrical interactions between chips placed on a single package.
Indeed, ESD failures can occur in metal interconnects, ESD devices themselves, and the core devices they are meant to protect. Although metal interconnects are crucial elements of the ESD discharge path, they are often evaluated manually or with tools that weren’t designed to independently simulate CDM currents in large, complex chips or multi-die systems. That’s why semiconductor companies now leverage full-chip ESD tools to verify interconnects, ESD devices, and core devices for HBM and CDM events.
Full-chip ESD tools can highlight at-risk designs, pinpoint susceptible devices, and automatically generate reports of current density violations and high-resistance paths. In addition, full-chip ESD tools can perform transient simulation of the full chip and package—analyzing all interconnects, protective elements, and devices including inductors, inductance, and capacitors. Moreover, analysis can be performed on both pre- and post-layout versus schematic (LVS) clean layouts, allowing quick identification and correction of potential issues. Lastly, hierarchical debugging can provide both telescopic and microscopic views of chip designs to deliver granular insights of ESD vulnerabilities.