Acceleware Corp., a developer of high-performance computing (HPC) applications, and Synopsys Inc., a developer of software and IP for semiconductor design and manufacturing, announced a new hardware solution that enables up to 20-times faster electromagnetic simulation of optoelectronic devices such as CMOS image sensors. The solution, which links Synopsys’s technology-leading TCAD Sentaurus™ Device simulation software and Acceleware’s ClusterInABox Quad Q30 workstation, enables an order-of-magnitude speed-up of the high accuracy finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) electromagnetic modeling algorithm used in Sentaurus Device. This performance increase allows engineers to leverage the rigor and accuracy of the FDTD method in designing and optimizing optoelectronic devices while shortening the product development cycle.

Due to the complex nature of optoelectronic devices, FDTD simulations typically require tens of hours to fully characterize a CMOS image sensor design in 3D. The new hardware acceleration solution reduces the FDTD simulation time by up to 20 times, allowing engineers to carry out more extensive simulation studies, reducing development costs and time. TCAD Sentaurus Device simulation software utilizes the ClusterInABox Quad Q30’s built-in NVIDIA graphics processing units (GPUs), which deliver up to two Teraflops of computational power, to significantly accelerate FDTD simulations of optoelectronic devices.

“The collaboration between Synopsys and Acceleware brings powerful TCAD simulation capabilities to our mutual customers, who are constantly looking for ways to reduce costs and time in developing advanced semiconductor devices,” said Terry Ma, group director, TCAD Business Unit at Synopsys. “Customers can now take advantage of this combined software and hardware solution to explore more design options and to optimize performance, manufacturability and yield for these complex optoelectronics device structures.”

“Process and device engineers are continuously challenged with improving product performance in a shorter development cycle,” said Ryan Schneider, Acceleware’s chief technology officer. “Our deskside supercomputing solutions provide the fastest FDTD processing on the market, opening up new possibilities in innovation and product delivery for engineers working with Synopsys’ sophisticated TCAD solution. The end result for manufacturers of optoelectronic devices is the ability to deliver higher quality products to their customers more quickly, without raising costs.”

The Synopsys interface, TCAD Sentaurus™ Device EMW-X, is now available through TCAD Sentaurus™ Device EMW. The ClusterInABox Quad Q30 workstation is available for purchase directly from Acceleware.