EnginSoft - CAE Conference Abstracts

EnginSoft International Conference 2011
CAE Technologies for Industry

Electromagnetic Interference Reduction on an Automotive Microcontroller

Pandini Davide - STMicroelectronics
Joubert Doriol Patrice - STMicroelectronics
Forzan Cristiano - STMicroelectronics
Campi Fabio - STMicroelectronics
Sanna Aurora - STMicroelectronics
Rotigni Mario - STMicroelectronics
Graziosi Giovanni - STMicroelectronics


In modern digital ICs, the increasing demand for performance and throughput requires operating frequencies of hundreds of megahertz, and in several cases exceeding the gigahertz range, thus increasing the electromagnetic interference (EMI). The enforcement of strict governmental regulations and international standards, mainly (but not only) in the automotive domain, are driving new efforts towards design solutions for electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). Hence, EMC/EMI is rapidly becoming a major concern for high-speed circuit and package designers. Traditionally, the problem of reducing on-chip EMI has been more an art than a science, and different engineer-ing solutions were considered, tested, and implemented by trial-and-error, without any structured method. Obviously, this approach is no longer acceptable, since the international standards and regulations, and the customer’s requirements, dictate a deep theoretical understanding of the EMC/EMI problem, a systematic procedure to deploy effective and reusable solutions for a wide range of applications, accurate and practical modeling techniques to estimate the system power integrity and EMC behavior before fabrication, and the development of an overall EMC-aware design methodology that addresses EMI reduction during the top-down design flow in order to avoid costly design re-spins. EMC is another critical objective for first-silicon success. Following the recently announced acquisition of Apache Design Solutions, and the previous acquisition of Ansoft Corp., by Ansys, Inc., in this conference, we will present design solutions based on Apache’s and Ansoft’s CAD tools which can be seamlessly integrated into the standard industrial design flow, and which have been exploited at STMicroelectronics to successfully reduce on-chip EMI on an industrial microcontroller for the automotive market. Another essential component of an EMC-aware design methodology is the availability of an EMI simulation flow, which allows designers to efficiently and accurately evaluate the die power integrity and EMC behavior before tape-out considering the other system components such as the package and board. Therefore, we will also present an approach to extract lumped-element models of the IC core, package, and PCB using Apache’s tools. This modeling technique was used to predict the voltage noise at the power supply I/O pads and then estimate the electromagnetic conducted emission level before taping out an automotive microcontroller. The experimental results demonstrated the effectiveness of our methodology.

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