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Technology Computer-Aided Design Software (TCAD) Information

Technology computer-aided design software (TCAD) is used to model and simulate the fabrication process (but not the behavior) of semiconductor devices. TCAD software is used to optimize semiconductor fabrication process steps such as diffusion and ion implantation, and includes a variety of different functions for microfabrication simulation. Examples include two-dimensional (2D) models of fabrication processes such as thermal oxidation and material etching, as well as microelectronic device simulation with both physical elements and models.


In addition to semiconductor device simulation, technology computer-aided design software (TCAD) may be used with nanotechnology modeling. Technology computer aided-design software (TCAD) vendors are located across North America and around the world, and sometimes provide or distribute specialized and proprietary applications.

Selecting Technology Computer-Aided Design Software (TCAD)

Selecting technology computer-aided design software (TCAD) requires an understanding of the semiconductor fabrication process that the application is designed to simulate. For example, TCAD software for semiconductor wet process fabrication is usually designed to model etching, washing, chemical mechanical polishing (CMP), and spin coating steps. Wet processing strips the oxide from those areas of the wafer that lack a lithographic pattern, thus leaving the oxide barriers to prevent contamination of the underlying silicon during later processes. When semiconductor etching is complete, wet strippers are used to remove the photoresist, an organic material that can cause defects on the wafer surface.


Technology computer-aided design software (TCAD) that can simulate spin coating, a process that applies a substrate to a surface, and epitaxy, which removes variations in the metallization layers of the wafer, is also available. Technology computer-aided design software (TCAD) may be used to model chemical mechanical polishing (CMP). CMP is designed to polish the semiconductor wafer after diffusion, implantation, deposition, oxidation, and metallization processes. This stage in the semiconductor fabrication process is also known as planarization, and polishes the wafer surface smooth by orbital actions intermediated with a chemical slurry. After polishing, additional layering, impact testing, assembly, and packaging occurs, all phases of semiconductor wet processing are complete. Technology computer-aided design software (TCAD) that can model the performance of the rinse tanks, baths, hoods, and chemical delivery systems needed for semiconductor wafer processing and fabrication is used in some applications.


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