Si2 Approves IC Design Simulation Standards for Gallium Nitride Devices

Si2 Approves Two IC Design
Simulation Standards for Fast-Growing
Gallium Nitride Market

Compact Model Coalition Models Expected to
Reduce Costs, Speed Time-to-Market


For Immediate Release


AUSTIN–The Silicon Integration Initiative’s (Si2) Compact Model Coalition (CMC) has approved two integrated circuit design simulation standards that target the fast-growing global market for gallium nitride semiconductors.

The approved standards are the 12th and 13th models currently funded and supported by the CMC, a collaborative group that develops and maintains cost-saving SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis) models for IC design.

John Ellis, president and CEO, said gallium nitride devices are used in many high-power and high-frequency applications, including satellite communications, radar, cellular, broadband wireless systems, and automotive. “Although it’s currently a small market, gallium nitride devices are expected to show remarkable growth over the coming years.”

To reduce research and developments costs and increase simulation accuracy, the semiconductor industry relies on the CMC to share resources for funding standard SPICE models. Si2 is a research and development joint venture focused on IC design and tool operability standards. “Once the standard models are proven and accepted by CMC, they are incorporated into design tools widely used by the semiconductor industry. The equations at work in the standard model-setting process are developed, refined and maintained by leading universities and national laboratories. The CMC directs and funds the universities to standardize and improve the models,” Ellis explained.

Dr. Ana Villamor, technology and market analyst at Yole Développement (Yole), Lyon, France, said that “2015 and 2016 were exciting years for the gallium nitride power business. We project an explosion of this market with 79% CAGR between 2017 and 2022. Market value will reach US $460 million at the end of the period1. It’s still a small market compared to the impressive US $30 billion silicon power semiconductor market,” Villamor said. “However, its expected growth in the short term is showing the enormous potential of the power gallium nitride technology based on its suitability for high performance and high frequency solutions.”

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Peter Lee, manager at Micron Memory Japan and CMC chair, said that “Gallium nitride devices are playing an increasingly important part in the field of RF and power electronics. With these two advanced models established as the first, worldwide gallium nitride model standards, efficiencies in design will greatly increase by making it possible to take into account accurate device physical behavior in design, and enabling the use of the various simulation tools in the industry with consistent results.”

Click here to download standard models.


About the Silicon Integration Initiative (Si2)

Si2 is a leading research and development joint venture that provides standard interoperability solutions for IC design tools. Its primary products include OpenAccess, the world’s most widely used, open reference database for IC design, with a supporting standard APA. All Si2 activities are carried out under the auspices of the National Cooperative Research and Production Act of 1993, the fundamental law that defines R&D joint ventures and offers them a large measure of protection against federal antitrust laws.


Media Contact:

Terry Berke
[email protected]


  1. Source: Power GaN 2017: Epitaxy, Devices, Applications, and Technology Trends report, Yole Développement, 2017


Developer Insights on Gallium Nitride Compact Models

“GaN HEMTs are widely used in power electronic systems and RF power applications, such as radar, wireless backhaul, and base transceiver stations for future high speed and high data rate communication systems. The recent standardization of GaN compact models will be the key enabler for these applications, which require the combination of an efficient foundry/fabless ecosystems.”

Yogesh Chauhan
Co-Developer, GaN ASM-HEMT Model
Associate Professor
IIT Kanpur, India


“Advance circuit simulations are a must for optimal, time- and cost-effective use of gallium nitride devices. Device modeling is the heart of circuit simulations, and the “Advance SPICE Model for GaN” (ASM GaN) has been developed after years of rigorous research. This model has been meticulously tested through the CMC process and is a turn-key solution for gallium nitride-based circuit design. I believe ASM GaN will enable design of leading-edge gallium nitride-based products.”

Sourabh Khandelwal
Co-Developer, GaN ASM-HEMT Model
Assistant Professor
Macquarie University
Sydney, Australia


“The MIT Virtual Source GaN-HEMT (MVSG) model distills the key physics in the operation of gallium nitride, high-electron-mobility transistors in a numerically robust form to facilitate accurate and meaningful circuit simulations.  Gallium nitride-based product designs in that utilize such physics-based compact models will stand to gain critical insights on device behavior within the system and will save on design overhead.”

Ujwal R. Krishna
Developer, GaN-MVSG Model
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, Mass.