A new, advanced ASM-ESD diode model is ready for use in generic ESD simulation

February 7, 2023

AUSTIN, Texas—A new electrostatic discharge (ESD) compact modeling standard recently released by the Silicon Integration Initiative Compact Model Coalition aims to improve the reliability of integrated circuits.

According to a press release from the Silicon Integration Initiative (Si2), the wide range of ESD features required by different members of the coalition, combined with the difficulty of model parameter extraction or model fitting, made the development of the model particularly challenging. However, with the contributions of Sourabh Khandelwal, Ph.D., of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and the involvement of Geoffrey Coram and Paul Zhou from ADI and Michi Stockinger from NXP, the ASM-ESD diode model has been successfully developed and is ready for use in generic ESD simulation.

“Electrostatic discharge is a major reliability issue for ICs, as it can cause irreversible damage and total failure of a circuit,” said Meng Miao, principal engineer at GlobalFoundries and chair of the Advanced SPICE Model for ESD Diodes Working Group, in a statement. “With the advancement of CMOS technology and the increasing transmission rate of I/O interfaces, the design margin for ESD is shrinking, making it more difficult to design ICs that can withstand ESD stress.”

While ESD is an important industry problem, the new ASM-ESD diode model is described as a powerful tool for enabling IC manufacturers to create more reliable and robust products.

“Accurate SPICE simulation of electrostatic discharge scenarios and circuit protection is crucial to avoid ESD failures in integrated circuits and products,” said Khandelwal, in the release. “ESD protection and core circuit co-design are increasingly important in advanced ICs, but conventional diode models do not account for ESD event regimes, during which the device operates under significantly different voltage, current, and thermal conditions. The Advanced SPICE Model for ESD Diodes captures diode behavior under ESD event conditions.”

According to the release, the new standard will help IC manufacturers ensure that their products meet industry standards for ESD and provide a more robust solution for ESD design. The model is expected to be widely adopted in the industry as a means to improve the reliability of ICs.

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