Zuken and CSA Catapult Present Results of an R&D Collaboration

R&D collaboration provides electronics engineers with optimized tools to generate 3D models of power modules.

R&D collaboration provides electronics engineers with optimized tools to generate 3D models of power modules.

A 3D power module design that uses the CR-8000 Design Force capability to capture Ribbon Bond wires and High Current Metal clips. Image courtesy of Zuken.


Zuken, a company involved in software and solutions for electronic and electrical engineering, and Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult report a milestone in their R&D collaboration to build a development environment for compound semiconductor products.

CSA Catapult is a UK government-funded nonprofit organization headquartered in South Wales. Working with large companies and start-ups, CSA Catapult develops and commercializes new semiconductor technology applications.

Collaborating with Zuken on a project to bring a power module layout from a graphical concept to a 3D model, CSA Catapult has identified several requirements and optimizations to Zuken’s CR-8000 Design Force chip, package and printed circuit board co-design software that will provide designers of power electronic products with the ability to co-develop mechanical and electrical design in unison. The integration with industry simulation tools enables the efficient design iteration needed to effectively explore the design envelope for new compound semiconductor products.

As a result of the collaboration, an intuitive function was created to generate interconnections between chips and copper layers in a substrate or a printed circuit board, as well as a function to export a CAD model in a format compatible with FEM software. These advanced features will help designers significantly decrease the time required to generate a 3D model of the power module substrate, chip layout, and chip-to-chip, as well as chip-to-copper interconnections.

Regarding the progress of the R&D collaboration, “The creation of a 3D model of the substrate, chip layout, and chip interconnections is an important part of the early-stage power module design process,” Alejandro Villarruel Parra, senior power electronics engineer at CSA Catapult, says. “Zuken’s advanced design solutions have helped to provide a preview of the module performance, which in turn makes our decision-making process faster when several concepts are being compared or helps to steer the refinement of the module geometry if a concept has already been selected.”

The new capability is included in the 2022 release of CR-8000 Design Force.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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