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As the cost of developing new semiconductor technology at ever higher bit/gate densities continues to grow, the value of using accurate TCAD simu lation tools for design and development becomes more and more of a necessity to compete in today's business. The ability to tradeoff wafer starts in an advanced piloting facility for simulation analysis and optimization utilizing a "virtual fab" S/W tool set is a clear economical asset for any semiconductor development company. Consequently, development of more sophisticated, accurate, physics-based, and easy-to-use device and process modeling tools will receive continuing attention over the coming years. The cost of maintaining and paying for one's own internal modeling tool development effort, however, has caused many semiconductor development companies to consider replacing some or all of their internal tool development effort with the purchase of vendor modeling tools. While some (noteably larger) companies have insisted on maintaining their own internal modeling tool development organization, others have elected to depend totally on the tools offered by the TCAD vendors and have consequently reduced their mod eling staffs to a bare minimal support function. Others are seeking to combine the best of their internally developed tool suite with "robust", "proven" tools provided by the vendors, hoping to achieve a certain synergy as well as savings through this approach. In the following sections we describe IBM's internally developed suite of TCAD modeling tools and show several applications of the use of these tools.
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