Sentinel-NPE is a high capacity, high performance quasi-static electromagnetic modeling tool for IC packaging and System in Package (SiP) designs.

With an ease-of-use graphical user interface and direct package design database import functions, package designers and SI engineers can efficiently build a physically intuitive RLCK model for the entire package. With Sentinel-NPE, designers can quickly assess the electrical performance of the package such as characteristic impedance, crosstalk due to mutual capacitance and inductance, and power ground inductance distribution. The users can also diagnose the package design weaknesses through the current distribution map, as well as the RLC distributions by layers.

Key Functionalities

  • 3D Physical RLGC Extraction of Whole Package
  • Versatile and User Friendly Graphical User Interface
  • Fully Automated Parasitic Extraction
  • Multi-port Power and Ground Nets Extraction

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3D Physical RLGC Extraction of Whole Package

Sentinel-NPE is the only 3D quasi-static extraction tool on the market that provides whole package RLGC parasitic extractions. Design features such as wires, vias, solder balls and pads require a unified 3D model for SPICE-level accuracy. Unlike the tools that use “single frequency synthesis” fast model extraction based on 2D hybrid technology, Sentinel-NPE uses direct energy integration based on the simulated electrical field (potential) or magnetic field (currents) to calculates the model parameters.

Figure 1: 3D Nature of Package Modeling

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Versatile and User Friendly Graphical User Interface

While 3D modeling is important to parasitic extractions, building and editing a 3D simulation model can be quite tedious and time consuming. Sentinel-NPE provides an easy-to-use graphical user interface for package designers to build a 3D model. An average user can learn and run Sentinel-NPE on their actual designs in less than 2 hours. Its various on-screen tables and pictures provide designers with an interface for entering geometric and material information, and automatically building the 3D models

Figure 2: Specifying the technology parameters (including bump/ball geometry) for package extraction

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Fully Automated Parasitic Extraction

Sentinel-NPE first builds detailed 3D models based on input CAD design files. The building of 3D models, including the assignment of boundary conditions, is fully automatic. It then solves the quasi-static Maxwell equations and obtains electrical and magnetic fields of the 3D models. From the resulting EM fields, Sentinel-NPE extracts the RLGC parasitic parameters and generates SPICE models, including HSPICE compatible models for subsequent signal integrity simulations.

Figure 3: Automated Package Modeling – from design geometry to SPICE/HSPICE model

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Multi-port Power and Ground Nets Extraction

With the powerful automatic finite element mesh generation engine, Sentinel-NPE can accurately simulate complex power and ground nets. Geometric details such as holes in a plane, vias, and solder balls are all modeled precisely as these small geometric features can significantly affect the behaviors of a power or ground net. Sentinel-NPE’s Multi-Port module allows designers to assign port configurations (active, float, or ground) of any given multi-port net to extract its power and ground RLGC parameters. In addition to generating RLGC parasitic parameters, Sentinel-NPE also provides power and ground net voltage drops and current densities

Figure 4: Extracting Power and Ground Nets with Multi-ports

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Output Results

Sentinel-NPE provides the following outputs

  • RLGC matrices
  • SPICE/HSPICE sub-circuits
  • Whole package HSPICE compatible IBIS models
  • W-Element HSPICE models
  • Signal integrity parameters: S, Y, Z

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CAD Interfaces

Sentinel-NPE supports the following CAD tool interfaces.

  • Gerber
  • Cadence Allegro (.mcm, .sip)
  • Encore BGA/Sigrity UPD
  • Mentor Graphics MCM Station
  • Zuken CR-5000

Sentinel-NPE is integrated with Synopsys' HSPICE

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