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Progress in the methodologies for the electrical modeling of interconnects and electronic packages

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2 Author(s)
A. E. Ruehli ; Div. of Res., IBM Thomas J. Watson Res. Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, USA ; A. C. Cangellaris

The rapid growth of the electrical modeling and analysis of the interconnect structure, both at the electronic chip and package level, can be attributed to the increasing importance of the electromagnetic properties of the interconnect circuit on the overall electrical performance of state-of-the-art very large scale integration (VLSI) systems. With switching speeds well below 1 ns in today's gigahertz processors, and VLSI circuit complexity exceeding the 100 million transistors per chip mark, power and signal distribution is characterized by multigigahertz bandwidth pulses propagating through a tightly coupled three-dimensional wiring structure that exhibits resonant behavior at the upper part of the spectrum. Consequently, in addition to the inductive and capacitive coupling, present between adjacent wires across the entire frequency bandwidth, distributed electromagnetic effects, manifested as interconnect-induced delay, reflection, radiation, and long-range nonlocal coupling, become prominent at high frequencies, with a decisive impact of overall system performance. The electromagnetic nature of such high-frequency effects, combined with the geometric complexity of the interconnect structure, make the electrical design of today's performance-driven systems extremely challenging. Its success is heavily dependent on the availability of sophisticated electromagnetic modeling methodologies and computer-aided design tools. This paper presents an overview of the different approaches employed today for the development of an electromagnetic modeling and simulation framework that can effectively tackle the complexity of the interconnect circuit and facilitate its design. In addition to identifying the current state of the art, an assessment is given of the challenges that lie ahead in the signal integrity-driven electrical design of tomorrow's performance- and/or portability-driven, multifunctional ULSI systems

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:89 ,  Issue: 5 )