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IH2653 Simulation of Semiconductor Devices 7.5 credits

The course gives an in-depth knowledge in simulation of advanced semiconductor devices for all application areas with a focus on CMOS. Other topics include power devices, solar cells and emerging technologies such as spintronics.

This course is based on learning by doing, which means that you learn by using state of the art tools such as Comsol Multiphysics and cloud based tools such as nanoHUB. We also cover SPICE simulations topics such as the BSIM compact model family for circuit simulations. 

We explain the solution the semiconductor equations using numerical methods. In connection to this topic, we introduce the finite element method (FEM) in relevant contexts.

This course is a good introduction to a master's thesis in the semiconductor device field. Several thesis projects are offered each academic year.

Choose semester and course offering to see current information and more about the course, such as course syllabus, study period, and application information.

Headings with content from the Course syllabus IH2653 (Autumn 2024–) are denoted with an asterisk ( )

Content and learning outcomes

Course contents

The course covers modelling of semiconductors and nanostructures with numerical methods such as the finite difference method (FDM) and the finite element method (FEM) and industry standard simulation programs for circuit design. The focus is on modern CMOS technology nodes including FinFET, SOI and future generations of 3D devices. Power consumption, energy efficiency and sustainable energy production are recurring themes.

The following areas are covered:

  • Description of comparative analysis of application and basic principles of physical device simulation (TCAD) and compact models for circuit simulation.
  • Compact models for modern semiconductor technologies and their implementation by means of hardware descriptive languages in design software, including corner modelling and other statistical methods.
  • General introduction to the combination of process simulation and device simulation for optimisation of future generations of semiconductor devices.
  • Hierarchies for device, circuit and mixed device and circuit simulations and multi-physics simulations in the semiconductor and nanostructure areas.
  • Thermal modelling, power consumption, variability and concepts such as ”dark silicon” in integrated circuits with 100-million transistors.
  • Parallel programming and hardware support for demanding semiconductor simulations.

Intended learning outcomes

After passing the course, the student shall be able to

  • choose appropriate transport models and material parameters for physical simulation (TCAD) of advanced semiconductor devices such as FinFET and SOI
  • use compact models for circuit simulation based on modern CMOS technology nodes and knowledge of power consumption, parameter extraction, fitting to measurement data and statistical methods such as corner simulations
  • use mixed circuit and device simulations for example in the power electronics area with a focus on energy efficiency and sustainable energy production
  • model discrete devices such as solar cells, light-emitting diodes and semiconductor-based sensors with a focus on energy efficiency and sustainable energy production
  • use computer programs for multi-physics simulations for e.g. thermal effects in devices and circuits.

Literature and preparations

Specific prerequisites

  • Knowledge in semiconductor devices, 7,5 credits, corresponding to completed course IL2240/IH1611.
  • Knowledge in numerical analysis, 6 credits, corresponding to completed course SF1512/SF1514/SF1544-SF1550.
  • The upper secondary course English B/6.

Recommended prerequisites

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Examination and completion

If the course is discontinued, students may request to be examined during the following two academic years.

Grading scale

A, B, C, D, E, FX, F


  • TEN1 - Written exam, 7.5 credits, grading scale: A, B, C, D, E, FX, F

Based on recommendation from KTH’s coordinator for disabilities, the examiner will decide how to adapt an examination for students with documented disability.

The examiner may apply another examination format when re-examining individual students.

Opportunity to complete the requirements via supplementary examination

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Opportunity to raise an approved grade via renewed examination

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Ethical approach

  • All members of a group are responsible for the group's work.
  • In any assessment, every student shall honestly disclose any help received and sources used.
  • In an oral assessment, every student shall be able to present and answer questions about the entire assignment and solution.

Further information

Course room in Canvas

Registered students find further information about the implementation of the course in the course room in Canvas. A link to the course room can be found under the tab Studies in the Personal menu at the start of the course.

Offered by

Main field of study

Electrical Engineering

Education cycle

Second cycle

Add-on studies

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Transitional regulations

The module ANN1 is replaced by TEN1.

Supplementary information

In this course, the EECS code of honor applies, see: