This visualization of a 3-axis MEMS gyro, courtesy of Murata Oy, was simulated with MEMS+ model in MATLAB. Image credit: Coventor

Microsensors can help enable designers to create smaller and more versatile Internet of Things-enabled devices and nodes. On Oct. 5, Coventor Inc. announced MEMS+6.0, the newest version of its MEMS design platform. It represents a step toward a MEMS design automation flow that works seamlessly with the well-established CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) design flow, letting designers integrate MEMS into electronics and packaging faster.

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The new version features novel enablement of MEMS process design kits and second-generation model reduction abilities.

Upgrades to the previous iteration include support for design hierarchy, refined support for including packaging effects in thermal stability analysis of sensors, improved modeling of devices that rely on piezo-electric effects for sensing, and an expanded MATLAB scripting interface.

More and more companies are expressing an interest in piezo sensing, Coventor said, as the process technology needed for piezo materials matures. Piezo sensing has shown several benefits over the current market leader, capacitive sensing.

Another one of the new features on the MEMS+6.0 is the ability to create a technology-defined component library, in which technology constraints and design rules are established during design entry. This means that design errors will be reduced, due to the “correct by construction” methodology. It also enables fewer design spins, and enables MEMS foundries to offer MEMS Process Design Kits (PDK) to fabless designers.

MEMS+ 6.0 allows foundries and IDMs to customize the full MEMS+ component library to create a MEMS PDK for a given process technology. Image credit: Coventor

“We have collaborated with Coventor in defining the requirements for MEMS PDKs for MEMS+,” said Joerg Doblaski, director of design support at X-FAB Semiconductor Foundries. “We see the new capabilities in MEMS+ 6.0 as a big step toward a robust MEMS design automation flow that will reduce time to market for fabless MEMS developers and their foundry partners.”

MEMS+6.0 is also equipped with a second-generation model reduction capability, with available export to MathWorks Simulink and the Verilog-A format. The reduced-order ROMS which result from this are far more accurate than simple hand-crafted models, and simulate almost as fast. The inputs for model reduction have been simplified, and the design platform automatically includes key dynamic and electrostatic non-linear effects. These ROMs can be given to business partners without having to worry about revealing critical IP.

“The fast-growing Internet of Things market will increasingly require customization of MEMS sensors and customized package-level integration to achieve lower power, higher performance, smaller form factors, and lower costs,” said Dr. Stephen R. Breit, VP of engineering at Coventor.  “MEMS+6.0 is focused on enabling rapid customization and integration of MEMS while enforcing design rules and technology constraints.”

The MEMS+6.0 software is available now.