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A Novel Deembedding Technique Applied to the

S–Parameter Computation of Multichip-Modules via TLM

Wolfgang Dressel, Tobias Mangold, Larissa Vietzorreck and Peter Russer

Institut für Hochfrequenztechnik, Technische Universität München

Arcisstr. 21, D-80333 Munich, Germany, email:

Abstract—The TLM-method is used for computing the scattering parameters after Fourier transformation.
scattering parameters of multichip-modules via time do- The main advantage of simulation under matched
main simulation. A novel deembedding method is ap-
plied which allows to reduce the error introduced by non-
conditions is that the decay of the scattered pulses
ideal port termination. is considerably faster than in the case of open–
circuit or short–circuit termination. This may re-
Index Terms—MCM, numerical modeling, TLM
duce the computation time considerably. How-
ever, this method suffers from the difficulty of a
I. I NTRODUCTION correct modeling of the termination. In this work
In this contribution the TLM method is used we therefore propose a new deembedding method
for the numerical characterization of multichip which allows direct time domain computation of
module (MCM) structures. In MCMs several IC the scattering parameters without exact termina-
chips are mounted in a silicon or ceramic sub- tion of the multiport under consideration.
strate. As a group of highly functional electronic
devices MCMs reduce cost and size providing op- II. TLM S IMULATION AND D EEMBEDDING
portunities to integrate unique functions of chips The S-parameters are calculated from the com-
from various processing technologies into one sys-
tem [1], [2], [3]. MCMs exhibit general three-

puted generalized port currents or voltages respec-
tively. We obtain for example from the inci-
dimensional geometry. For the modeling of MCM dent generalized voltage wave amplitude 

structures therefore a field solver is required which the resulting generalized input port voltage  via
imposes no restrictions on the geometry of the 
electromagnetic structures. Considering this re-     

quirement the TLM method is well suited for mod- 

eling of MCM structures including losses in the di-
electrics as well as in the conductors. In modelling The application of this formula, however is not
an MCM structure the task usually is to com- a trivial task. The generalized voltages are spec-
pute its multiport parameters in a wide frequency ified via a path integral or an area integral over
range. The TLM method already has been applied the transverse electric field component. Since the
to multichip modules and to extract lumped ele- modes are non–TEM and furthermore the trans-
ment equivalent circuits of MCM structures [4]. verse field distribution also is frequency depen-
The frequency characteristics is obtained from the dent, an exact modelling of a matched waveguide
time domain simulation of the MCM multiport termination will not be feasible.
structures by Fourier or Laplace transform [4] or In the following we therefore propose a deem-
by parameter estimation methods [5]. Full–wave bedding procedure which can be applied in case
simulation of the multiport characteristics may be of modelling the scattering behaviour of the mul-
done under open circuit conditions, short circuit tiport without matching the ports. Let us consider
conditions and matched conditions. Computa- a multiport with the scattering matrix  . The vec-
tion under matched conditions directly yields the tor of the incident waves  and the vector of the
scattered waves are related via plane of the calculated currents and voltages
 1 2



If we want to characterize a multiport with  ports 85/17 nodes

we have to perform  simulations and to compute
measurement plane measurement plane 220/22 nodes
the scattering from the input ports to the output 190/19 nodes 500/100 nodes 190/19 nodes
ports. Usually we will excite only one port at each
simulation, and each time we will excite another Fig. 1. Interdigital capacitor with dimensions (in 0 m) and
port. However, due to non-perfect termination of number of nodes

all ports each time all ports will be excited by in-
cident waves. Let  ,  , ...  be the vectors
The simulation was performed using 5 / m as
describing the excitation  in the first, second and
smallest mesh size and 10 / m as biggest. The sim-
  simulation, and let ,  , ...  denominate
ulation box has got a size of 880 / m
305 / m

the vectors summarizing the scattered waves. We

335 / m, whereas 240 / m from the 335 / m rep-
then may introduce the 
resent the free space above the structure. A mag-
    (3) netic wall can be used to half the simulation box.
       So computation resources and time can be saved.
The path integrals for the voltages and currents are
A number of  simulations is carried out, where in the same cross-section defined as the measure-
in the  –th simulation, ( i = 1 . . . N) a primary pulse ment plane at every port of the interdigital capaci-
wave  is applied to the  –th port. The ports tor. With this cell sizes the computation time took
5 hours on a HP-C360 workstation with 500MB
of the multiport are terminated with the reflection
memory. The time includes the two device sim-
factors     . The waves flowing into the
multiport are given by ulations needed for all wave amplitudes, and the
reference simulation needed for the characteristic
(5) impedance of the microstrip-lines.
% ('  +  - 
. Fig. 4 till Fig. 2 show the S-parameters , 
with *)    , . If exists, the and 1 derived by the conventional method ac-
scattering matrix of the multiport can be obtained cording to (1), the dembedding method after (6)
  -  and the measurement.
 (6) In order to proof the deembedding technique,
 one simulation was computed with non-ideal
For this evaluation both, and have to be eval-
uated. This procedure yields a deembedding of
non–perfectly terminated multiports.

In this section, S-Parameters calculated by the
conventional method according to (1) and the
dembedding method after (6) are shown for a in-
terdigital capacitor mapped in fig. 1. The inter-
digital capacitor has got a size of 880 / m
/ m and is manufactured by a thin film method on
a ceramic substrate. The computed scattering pa-
rameter results have been compared with measure-
ments made by a HP-8510C network analyzer and Fig. 2. Simulated and measured 24353 of the interdigital ca-
a Cascade on-wafer prober. pacitor
ary models.

In this work a deembedding technique was
applied to the S-parameter computation of
multichip-modules using TLM. In contrast to the
conventional technique, where the scattering pa-
rameters are obtained directly by the outgoing
waves, assuming no reflections at the boundaries,
the described approach also considers reflections
at the non-perfect port terminals. By exciting the
Fig. 3. Simulated and measured 2 3 of the interdigital ca- multiport in different simulations at each port, a
system of incident and reflected wave amplitudes
is established, which has to be solved. As an ex-
ample, the technique was applied to a interdig-
ital capacitor frequently used in MCM connect-
ing structures. Scattering parameters of the balun
were computed by using both techniques and com-
pared with measurements. With the deembedding
method an improvement of the calculated results
and a better agreement with the measurement is

Fig. 4. Simulated and measured 2  of the interdigital ca- [1] P. Russer, “Emerging Technologies in Microwaves, Micro-
pacitor electronics and Hybrid Integration, Microtec 2000 Confer-
ence Digest, Hannover, September 2000.
[2] T. Mangold, P. Gulde, G. Neumann and P. Russer, “A Mul-
boundary conditions equal a mismatch of 0.3 at the tichip Module Integration Technology on Silicon Substrate
for High Frequency Applications, Proc. of topical meeting
ports. The according curves calculated by the con- on ’Silicon Monolithic Integrated Circuits in RF Systems,Ann
ventional method from this simulation are labeled Arbor, Michigan,181-184,17.-18 September 1998
[3] T. Mangold, J. Wolf, M. Töpper, H. Reichl and P. Russer,
with ib=0.3. The S-parameters derived by the A Multichip Module Integration Technology for High-Speed
dembedding method are marked with ib=0.3 cor- Analog and Digital Applications, Proc. ISSSE ,Pisa(Italy),
91-96, September 1998.
rected. The two curves can be compared with the [4] T. Mangold and P. Russer, “Full-Wave Modelling and Auto-
measurement and the simulation with ideal bound- matic Equivalent-Circuit Generation of Millimeter-Wave Pla-
nar and Multilayer Structures”, IEEE Trans. on Microwave
ary conditions (labeld with ib=0.3) as reference. Theory and Techniques, 47, (6), pp. 851-858, June 1999.
It can be seen that a good improvement can [5] V. Chtchekatourov, W. Fisch, P. Russer “Model–based Param-
be obtained if the deembedding technique is ap- eter Estimation for Equivalent Circuit Generation with Trans-
mission Line Matrix (TLM) Method, to be published
plied to simulations with nonideal boundary con-
ditions. The deviation between the calculated S-
parameters of the simulation with nonideal bound-
ary conditions corrected and ideal boundary con-
ditions calculated normaly is most about 0.5 dB.
 an improvment of
So  about 2.5 dB is obtained for
and 1 . For  the improvment is about 5 dB
at higher frequencies. Furthermore if the results of
the two calculation techniques are compared, this
technique can be used for a verification of bound-