Synopsys Sentaurus Tutorial
- For EE 130/230M Project
Prof. King Liu and Dr. Xu
– The following material is being disclosed to you
pursuant to a non-disclosure agreement between
UC Berkley and Synopsys. Information disclosed
in this presentation may be used only as permitted
under such an agreement.
– Information contained in this presentation reflects
Synopsys plans as of the date of this presentation.
Such plans are subject to completion and are
subject to change. Products may be offered and
purchased only pursuant to an authorized quote
and purchase order. Synopsys is not obligated to
develop the software with the features and
functionality discussed in the materials.
Software Setups and Configurations
Introduction to Sentaurus TCAD
Basic Sentaurus Operations
Project Tips
Software Setups
• X11 Forwarding Software (i.e. Exceed)
Successful running will display a
task bar on your desktop
Exceed helps you forward the GUIs
from Unix system to your PC
• Putty
Putty is a remote login software, will
help you to log into Unix system
from a PC (Windows)
Software Setups
• You may also use Xming that is loaded on the
computer lab.
• Putty
Putty is a remote login software, will
help you to log into Unix system
from a PC (Windows)
Servers and Performance
• Instructional servers:
• Shared servers are going to be slow, due to the
multiple-thread tasking.
 Do not wait until the last day!
• For those who want to WFH: The connection speed is
going to be slow, if you are off campus and do the direct
forwarding from the servers.
 My suggestion: leave a computer on campus
running Sentaurus and remote log into it.
• .cshrc file
 A system configuration file under your folder, to
define all the environmental variables needed in
Unix system
 Append the following codes to the bottom of your
existing .cshrc file:
setenv LM_LICENSE_FILE [email protected]
set path = ($path /usr/eesww/synopsys/G_2012.06/bin)
X11 Forwarding
 Make sure you have enabled the X11 forwarding
option in putty.
Please check here !
Project Folder
• Copy the project folder provided on the
project link of class website o to the
instructional server on your home directory.
Running Sentaurus
• Start Exceed
• Start putty
 Select the server you want to run your simulation
 Log on the server
 Input your Account name and Password
After you enter your login name, the system
displays “Access Denied”. Ignore it and go
ahead to enter your password.
After login, it’s recommended that you first
check whether you have correctly added the
Sentaurus path in the .cshrc file.
So type “which swb”
It tells you the installation path of Sentaurus.
Then, type “swb” to start Sentaurus workbench.
Sentaurus Workbench
• Run command: swb
• Graphical user interface to unify all simulation tools
into a single experiment project flow
• Used to organize projects and set up experiments
for both structure generation and device simulation
Technology Computer-Aided-Design Tools
Parameter row
Experiment column
Unlocking Workbench
• Double click 20nm-NMOS_wo_Halo : the simulation
modules will show up on the work bench
• If you cannot edit the value in the cell, then Right
click 20nm-NMOS_wo_Halo-> project->unlock ::
This will unlock the project for modification of
Technology Computer-Aided-Design Tools
Parameter row
Experiment column
Sentaurus Structure Editor
• Recommended to run in workbench
• Run command (under putty): sde
• Structure Editor (1) generates the device
structure (including the doping profiles) (2)
Defines the electrical contact and (3)
generates the meshing for numerical
Parameters you need to change/optimize for this project
• Gate oxide thickness (Xo, Units: um)
• MOSFET gate length (Lgate, Units: um)
• Spacer length (Lsp, Units: um)
• Channel Doping Concentration (ChanDoping, Units: cm-3)
• Source/Drain extension depth (XjExt, Units: um)
Sentaurus Device
• Recommended to run in workbench
• Run command (under putty): sdevice
• Sentaurus Device simulates the device
performance by solving multiple, coupled
physical equations based on the meshing.
• Inputs: gate voltage (Vgs), drain voltage
(Vds), workfunction
Common Physical models:
• Si band structure (Ec/v, Nc/v and bandgap narrowing)
• Fermi-Dirac Statistics
• Poisson equation, continuity equation
• Band-to-band tunneling, R-G current
• Drift-Diffusion current, carrier mobility, velocity saturation
Sentaurus Inspect
• Recommended to run in workbench
• Used to automatically extract critical
device performance parameters such as:
• Also used to plot the Id-Vg and Id-Vd
Simulation Status
• Start Sentaurus, first select from the left project
column, right-click to “preprocess”.
• Then you will find the nodes will display different
colors, suggesting they have different properties.
Here is a summary. Only colorful nodes will give
you the simulation output.
• “Ready” means the current tool is free of syntax
errors (You should see this since you are not
allowed to modify the scripts).
• Right-click a certain Ready nodes to run, after a
short period of time, you will find it changes to
“done” or “failed”.
Basic Operations for
Sentaurus Structure Editor
• Now you can view your simulation results if the
nodes are done.
• Right-click the node in Structure editor, select
Visualize → Tecplot SV (Select File) and choose
msh.tdr file to view your device structure.
This is the gate
position, only gate
contact is left
By default, doping
concentration is
Basic Operations for
Sentaurus Device
• Right-click the “done” node in Structure Device,
select Visualize → Tecplot SV (Select File) and
choose des.tdr file to view your device performance
contours (vector fields).
Current Density
Linear region
Saturation region
Basic Operations for
Sentaurus Device Cont.’d
• Right-click the “done” node in Structure Device,
select Visualize → Inspect (Select File) and choose
IdVg_des.plt file to view your device performance
Choose Log Y or
Linear Y here
Most common plot
combination is “gate:
Use cursors to read
the data value along
“drain: TotalCurrent”
the curve
Idsat, Ilin and IOFF
Threshold Voltage
Constant current definition
of threshold voltage
Ith = 100nA · W/Lgate
W has default value of 1um for
2-dimensional device simulation
Sub-threshold Swing
DIBL is defined as the threshold
voltage difference between linear
and saturation region.
Please come to Dr. Xu’s office
hours (M&Tu) or send emails
([email protected])
for any technical questions.

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