4.1.1 Optimization Loop

An optimization loop for industrial applications includes several aspects (e.g. of robustness, speed, etc.) in addition to the numerical optimization. However, the basic structure of the optimization is the same for all applications. A typical optimization flow is depicted in Figure 4.1, where the different parts of the optimization are presented. According to the different levels where the optimization is applied, the interactions with the optimization loop and the results of the different optimizations are different. An optimization in a typical TCAD software environment includes several applications as listed below:

Typical optimization tasks in a semiconductor device fabrication environment requires: To decrease the time from the start of optimization until the final results are obtained, certain aspects can be optimized in advance -- not on hardware but - with appropriate simulations tools -- by using software. This offers the developer several weeks' gain in time for each optimization run they can perform with software tools before doing the experiments. Although, the final measurements for the verify the device characteristics and reliability cannot be avoided, the monetary benefits due to time savings can be considerable.

Stefan Holzer 2007-11-19