The simulation of a mixed-technology micro or nano system is an extremely challenging task because of the different types of on-chip components for sensing, actuation, data storage, and information processing. Integrated circuit and device simulators are a promising approach for simulating such systems. These simulators include interfaces to various device-level simulators that provide the solution of device characteristics based on the partial differential equations describing the physical operation of the device (numerical models). With this approach there is a direct link between the fabrication technology, device design and the higher level of circuit/system design. In addition, this environment supports higher-level or compact models for components that have been well characterized. Since numerical models are predictive they can be used to evaluate the impact of technology on system performance. Examples from integrated circuit, microfluidic, MEMS applications will be presented to illustrate the advantages of integrated circuit and device simulators.
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