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Title: FastSies: A Fast Stochastic Integral Equation Solver for Modeling the Rough Surface Effects

Dr. Zhenhai Zhu

From Cadence Berkeley Labs, Berkeley, CA


Rough surfaces are pervasive in integrated circuits and systems at both on-chip and off-chip levels.  They are caused mainly by the imperfection in manufacturing processes such as electroplating and etching.  And, they can lead to serious performance degradation.  For example, extensive experiments have shown that surface roughness can cause the conduction loss on the printed circuit boards to increase by a factor of three at high frequencies.

The calculation of the equivalent circuit elements of complicated 3D interconnect structures, so called parasitic extraction, has become a mature sub-field in EDA research and industry.  The integral equation-based methods have been proven to be the most powerful approaches.  But so far, the surfaces of those 3D structures have always been assumed to be perfectly smooth.  The presence of surface roughness changes the nature of the problem and has unfortunately raised the numerical difficulty of the parasitic extraction to such a new level that even the state-of-the-art parasitic extraction algorithms are not able to handle practical structures.

Described in this talk:

  • Why the rough surface problem is important
  • A quick review of integral equation based parasitic extraction solvers
  • Why these solvers fail to efficiently solve the rough surface problem
  • The key elements in the proposed fast stochastic integral equation solver (FastSies)
  • The potential applications of FastSies in high frequency electromagnetic analysis of 3D structures with rough surfaces

Biographical sketch

Zhenhai Zhu received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2002 and 2004, respectively.  He was a Josef Raviv Memorial Postdoctoral Fellow at IBM T.J. Watson Research Center from 2004 to 2005.  He joined Cadence Berkeley Laboratories as a Research Scientist in 2005.

He is a recipient of IEEE/ACM William J. McCalla 2005 ICCAD Best Paper Award for his work on fast stochastic integral equation solver.  At MIT, he also developed FastImp, a public-domain fast impedance extraction code, and pfft++, a public-domain fast integral equation solver.  FastImp is generally considered as the state-of-the-art academic solver for the high-frequency analysis of 3D interconnects.  The code pfft++ has been used to solve various partial differential equations in different engineering applications, such as computational aerodynamics, bio-molecular simulation and drug design, and computational electromagnetics.

His research interests focus on the development of efficient numerical methods for modeling and simulation of high frequency electronic systems.  Current research projects include variational model order reduction, statistical timing and lithography simulation.

He lives with his wife and son in the city of Alameda, Calif.  He likes to jog or bike along coast line, work out in gym and play table tennis and badminton.  He was a leading player and co-captain of MIT table tennis team.

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