Multi-Scale, Multi-Physics Reliability Modeling of Modern Electronic Devices and System

2019-08-12T18:15:58Z (GMT) by Woojin Ahn
Electronics have now become a part of our daily life and therefore the reliability of microelectronics cannot be overlooked. As the Moore's law era comes to an end, various new system-level innovations (e.g., 3D packaging, evolution of packaging material to molding compounds) with constant scaling of transistors have resulted in increasingly complicated integrated circuits (ICs) configurations. The reliability modeling of complex ICs is a nontrivial concern for a variety of reasons. For example, ever since 2004, self-heating effect (SHE) has become an important reliability concern for ICs. Currently, many groups have developed thermal predictive models for transistors, circuits, and systems. In order to describe SHE self-consistently, the modeling framework must account for correlated self-heating within the ICs. This multi-scales nature of the self-consistency problem is one of the difficult factors poses an important challenge to self-consistent modeling. In addition, coupling between different physical effects within IC further complicates the problem.

In this thesis, we discuss three challenges, and their solutions related to an IC's reliability issues. We (i) generalize the classical effective medium theory (EMT) to account for anisotropic, heterogeneous system; (ii) develop computationally efficient a physics-based thermal compact model for a packaged ICs to predict junction temperature in the transistor based on the EMT model, and image charge theory. Our thermal compact model bridges different length scales among the sources and rest of the system. Finally (iii) propose the modeling framework of electrical chip package interaction (CPI) due to charge transport within mold compounds by coupling moisture diffusion, electric distribution, and ions transport. The proposed modeling framework not only addresses the three major modeling challenges discussed earlier, but also provides deep and fundamental insights regarding the performance and reliability of modern ICs.