HPC Tool for Massively-Parallel Thermal Simulation of 3D and Dense Electronic Circuits

Period of Performance: 02/25/2016 - 11/21/2016


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Capesym, Inc.
6 Huron Drive Array
Natick, MA 01760
Firm POC
Principal Investigator


Thermal analysis of transistors and circuits is typically performed on simplified models by mechanical engineer thermal specialists after a circuit design is complete, but a large class of circuits now require thermally-aware design. Three-dimensional integrated circuits are too large and complex to accurately model with general-purpose software, but their performance is power limited to a large degree and require a design cycle with integrated, high-definition thermal analysis. A high performance computing thermal solution tool is proposed which can directly solve the largest and most complex stacked electronic circuits, including transient analysis, and which interfaces well with electronic design automation tools. It will be easy for the non-thermal-specialist to use. It will be parallel and highly efficient, so that it can scale to thousands of cores for the largest analyses, and made available on a cloud computing platform. It will make use of the latest algorithms and parallel technology, and support both predefined model input as well as automatic model creation from electronic design automation files. In Phase I CapeSym will demonstrate software building blocks that will enable the success of the tool by the end of Phase II. CapeSym will demonstrate the speedup of the parallelized FEM algorithm and quantify the benefits of the parallel technology implemented and planned for Phase II. The continued advancement of electronic circuits to smaller dimensions, higher power and performance has brought thermal management issues to the forefront, but current thermal analysis tools are inadequate. CapeSym herein propose a new, high- performance tool capable of solving the most complex thermal problems using cloud computing. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: A number of electronic design communities will directly benefit from the availability of this tool. High-power, analog radio-frequency circuit designers will use transient simulations of non-simplified designs under actual operating conditions to optimize and increase performance. Mixed-signal, system-in-a-package designers will be able to quickly simulate their complex, stacked circuits and thermally optimize their layouts. Digital, system-on-a-chip designers will be able to meet the challenges of dark silicon and improve energy efficiency. Finally, this tool’s availability on the cloud will enable a company of any size to use it with virtually unlimited computing resources.