5 December 2022
Zuken and CSA Catapult optimize power module design tools
Zuken, which provides software and solutions for electronic and electrical engineering, and the Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult have announced a milestone in their R&D collaboration aimed at building a development environment for state-of-the-art compound semiconductor products.
Established in 2017 by UK Government agency Innovate UK (which provides funding and support for business innovation as part of UK Research and Innovation), CSA Catapult is a not-for-profit organization (headquartered in Newport, South Wales) focused on accelerating the adoption of compound semiconductors and on bringing applications to life in four technology areas: power electronics, RF & microwave, advanced packaging, and photonics. It works across the UK in a range of industry sectors from automotive to medical, and from digital communications to aerospace.
Collaborating with Zuken on a project to bring a power module layout from a graphical concept to a 3D model, CSA Catapult has identified several requirements and optimizations to Zuken’s CR-8000 Design Force chip, package and PCB co-design software that will provide designers of power electronic products with the ability to co-develop mechanical and electrical design in unison. The integration with industry simulation tools enables the efficient design iteration needed to effectively explore the design envelope for new compound semiconductor products.
As a result of the collaboration, an intuitive function was created that is used to generate interconnections between chips and copper layers in a substrate or a printed-circuit board, as well as a function to export a CAD model in a format compatible with finite-element modelling (FEM) software. These advanced features will help designers to significantly decrease the time required to generate a 3D model of the power module substrate, chip layout, and chip-to-chip as well as chip-to-copper interconnections.
“The creation of a 3D model of the substrate, chip layout and chip interconnections is an important part of the early-stage power module design process,” says Dr Alejandro Villarruel Parra, senior power electronics engineer at CSA Catapult. “Zuken’s advanced design solutions have helped to provide a preview of the module performance, which in turn makes our decision-making process faster when several concepts are being compared or helps to steer the refinement of the module geometry if a concept has already been selected.”
The new capability is included in the 2022 release of CR-8000 Design Force.