Radio frequency (RF) circuits are very sensitive to parasitic elements and layout-dependent effects, so both pre-and post-layout simulations are essential to ensuring a robust circuit that performs reliably over a broad range of operating conditions. But simulations are time-consuming and resource-intensive.


Enhancing Reliability in RF Circuit Design

Reliability is a key market consideration when designing RF circuits. Many RF products, such as the ones used in applications like aerospace, satellite communications, military, and defense, operate in harsh environments, and/or must operate for extended periods of time under stressful conditions, with time-to-failure criteria for these products stretching to, in some cases, multiple decades. Given these operating conditions and strict requirements, designers face stringent criteria for IC reliability when designing RF circuits.

Hence it is essential to take into account the impact of layout-dependent effects such as shallow trench isolation (STI) stress and well proximity effect (WPE), which can have severe consequences in terms of RF IC reliability and expected lifetime. Designers must understand their causes and check for susceptible layout structures when implementing RF circuits.

Left: Current mirror schematic; Right: Unequal spacing between the devices and well edge during implementation creates WPE, well proximity effect.


In this paper, learn about advanced electronic design automation (EDA) tools that provide enhanced verification and fill optimization that can drastically reduce the number of simulations required, while still ensuring designs will perform reliably in conformance with their design specifications over the lifetime of the products. This paper looks at:

  • Design topology checking
  • RF/Analog layout checking
  • STI (shallow trench isolation) stress and well proximity effect (WPE)
  • RF/Analog layout fill insertion


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