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An Implementation of a simplified version of the

EKV MOSFET Model in Matlab and Verilog-A for

simulation in Cadence
G. Angelov1), M. Hristov
Technical University of Sofia, Faculty of Electronics Engineering and Technology
8 Kliment Ohridski Str
1797 Sofia, Bulgaria

Abstract- The paper presents an open source speed calculation in Matlab is also quite useful for
implementation of the EKV MOSFET compact model in extraction and optimization of model parameters.
Matlab and in Verilog-A codes; the Verilog-A code is simulated
in Cadence Spectre circuit simulator. The implemented EKV In this context the EKV MOSFET model is excellent
model uses a simplified formulation given by Godfrey and example of a compact model suitable for implementation in
Lazzaro with explicit threshold voltage (rather than explicit Matlab as it provides accurate modeling results while having
pinch-off voltage). Verification is performed against small number of parameters. The EKV model employs
measurements taken from the literature and against the many fewer model parameters than the latest BSIM model
simulation results obtained by simulation with the conventional
BSIM3v3 compact model of a 0.35 μm CMOS technology versions [2]. And it has been implemented in lots of
design kit. commercial circuit simulators (Spectre, PSpice, etc.).
The present paper presents the basic approach to provide
I. INTRODUCTION circuit designers with more flexible and straightforward
access to simulation models. That is, to first modify and/or
For circuit-level design of CMOS analog and radio
adapt a compact model for the particular design needs using
frequency integrated circuits, the compact MOSFET model
general purpose mathematical platform, then to code it into
is the key enabler to efficiently achieving the analog design
a HDL, and finally to embed it in a library of the CAD tool
goals. Recently, the demand for flexible, consistent,
used in the design process, making it available for circuit
physics-based and full-featured compact models has
designers. In particular, we have first implemented an EKV
increased particularly in view of the sub-100 nm CMOS
model formulation given by Godfrey and Lazzaro [5] (with
explicit formulation of the threshold voltage rather than the
Generally, MOSFET device models are built-in circuit
pinch-off voltage) in Matlab, then we have recoded it in
simulators using general-purpose programming languages
Verilog-A, and finally implemented it as a cellview in
like C/C++ or Fortran. Accordingly, they are targeted
Cadence Spectre simulator.
specifically to the interface and internal data structures of
their host simulator, and hence are inherently non-portable.
Facilities for adding custom open source models (or user- II. GODFREY-LAZZARO FORMULATION OF THE EKV
defined models) have been made available in some MODEL
simulation environments, but such interfaces have typically The original EKV model (Enz, Krummenacher, and
been non-standard, non-portable, and inefficient. Under Vittoz) is described in detail in [3] and its version EKV v2.6
these conditions, modification/optimization of a model or (Bucher, Lallement, Enz, Théodoloz, Krummenacher) – in
new model creation becomes a time-consuming and error- [4]. Despite small number of parameters in EKV v2.6, it still
prone task. remains fairly complex. That is why we take the simplified
A comprehensive attitude to overcome this gap between version of the model set forth by Godfrey and Lazzaro in [5].
model development and its implementation in simulators The latter model (it is proceeds from the Vittoz-Oguey
might be in formulating open source models in analog approximation for obtaining a single expression for the drain
HDLs such as Verilog-A/AMS [1]. In the recent years current) offers simpler treatment of the EKV modeling
Verilog-A has become increasingly viewed as a leading methodology while retaining its applicability for circuit
candidate for new compact model development. The recent simulations. .
rise in interest for Verilog-A based compact model Below, we briefly present the basic equations of the
development has resulted in compiled solutions becoming model formulation by Godfrey-Lazzaro (GL) used in our
available, with an ongoing emphasis on improved implementations in Matlab and Verilog-A.
simulation performance.
At the stage of model optimization, the general-purpose A. Smoothing Function and Drain Current
computational package Matlab might be used as a platform For MOSFETs in strong inversion the channel current is a
for modifying and testing the model equations. The high quadratic function while for MOSFETs in weak inversion
the channel current is an exponential function. Vittoz and

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Oguey suggest a formula for the MOSFET channel current
that interpolates (smoothes) these separate expressions [5] :
( )
⎧⎪q 1.7 +1.059×105T − 6.05×10−7T 2 , 0 < T ≤ 150
Eg = ⎨ (9)
⎧⎪(x 2)2 , x >> 0
( )
⎪⎩q 1.785+ 9.025×105T − 3.5 ×10−7T 2 , 150< T ≤ 300
F ( x ) = ln 1 + e x2
=⎨ ) (1)
⎪⎩e x , x << 0
C. Other Quantities
This function smoothly interpolates between the quadratic The remaining model quantities in the GL model are
and exponential operational regimes and allows to express listed below. The transfer parameter (appearing in (2))
the MOSFET behavior in the otherwise difficult case of W
moderate inversion. The EKV model is based on the same β = 10 − 4μ C ox (10)
interpolation approach as well. This is a mathematical trick
and it is not really physically motivated. is temperature dependent. Its temperature dependence arises
Using the smoothing function (1) the channel current for from the dependence on temperature of the mobility μ =
the MOSFET takes the form μ (T).
In the above equations Cox = qox/tox and
2βU T2
ID = ( I F − I R )(1 + λ c V DS ) (2) C ox
κ κ= (11)
C ox + C dep
where λc is the parameter of channel length modulation, β is
the transfer parameter, UT is the thermal voltage — UT = where Cdep = 10 6 ρε Si 2φ s is the depletion capacitance
kT/q (0.026 V at 300° K). The forward current and the which is a function of the surface potential φs:
reverse current are, respectively, given with ⎧0.1φ b , φ s1 < 0.1φ b
φs = ⎨ (12)
I F = ln 2 [1 + exp{U 1 [κ (VG − VTh ) − V S ]}] (3) ⎩φ s1 , φ s1 ≥ 0.1φ b
I R = ln 2 [1 + exp{U 1 [κ (VG − VTh ) − V D ]}] (4) In (12)
VG − V FB − V B + V S
φ s1 = φ b tanh (13)
B. Threshold Voltage
What differs most in the Godfrey-Lazzaro formulation
compared to the well-recognized EKV model is that D. Effective Channel Lengths
Godfrey and Lazzaro use explicit formulation of the Effective channel width W, and channel length L
threshold voltage while the EKV uses explicit formulation determine the device aspect ratio W/L. Although related to
of the pinch-off voltage. the metallurgical length, shorter than the mask length
The threshold voltage is (referred to as “drawn” length in the Godfrey-Lazzaro
model) owing to lateral diffusion, the effective channel
⎧V + φ + γ φ − (V − V ) , NMOS(V ≤ 0)
⎪ FB b b B S BS length is rather an electrical parameter to which drain
VTh = ⎨ (5)
⎪⎩V FB − φb − γ φb − (VB − VS ) , PMOS (V BS ≥ 0) current is inversely proportional. Its determination is
strongly correlated with the measurement and modeling of
The flat band voltage is given by the I-V characteristics. In Godfrey-Lazzaro model, the
Q ss following equations are used to calculate the effective length
V FB = φ ms − (6) and width:
C ox
L = λ Ld − 0.33 , W = λ Wd − 0.49 (14)
φms – silicon-oxide interface charge, Qss – fixed oxide charge,
ε Si = 11.7ε 0.
An overall advantage of the Godfrey-Lazzaro model is
The Fermi potential (NA – the doping concentration) is that the physical parameters are reasonably independent of
each other and therefore can be separately adjusted to reflect
φ b = 2φ F = 2U T ln (7) and fit the device physical behaviors. This enables the
ni designer to experiment with circuit behavior as a function of
The body effect coefficient is changes in physical parameter values, and associate this
with feasible device fabrication processes.
γ= 2 × 10 6 ε Si ρ (8)
C ox
The intrinsic carrier concentration is The program code was written in the order required by a
Eg sequential processing language like Matlab to allow the
− input voltages, VD; VS; VG and VB to be vectors. The
ni = 1.64 × 1015 T 1.706 e 2 kT (8)
resulting current is returned also as a vector. This makes it
for which the band gap is given with easy to use the code to produce I-V curves. It would be
correspondingly easy to apply the same vectors to test
equipment for device measurement.

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the measurement results are extracted from the figures in [6].
lambda_c = Early_s./(Ve + L - L_0) ; % linear Afterwards, the respective numeric values are input in
channel length modulation (Early) effect.
V0 = 1./lambda_c; Matlab and Verilog-A versions of the GL model to perform
gamma = (1/Cox)*sqrt (2*e_s*rho*1e6) ; % body a comparison (the Verilog-A version is simulated again in
effect Cadence Spectre). All characteristics have been obtained
% --------------------------------------
% Threshold voltage: using a single parameter set. Since the simulation results of
% -------------------------------------- the Matalb and Verilog-A implementations of the Godfrey-
Vt = Vfb + abs(phi_b) + gamma*sqrt(abs(phi_b) Lazzaro model give identical results, in the figures below
- Vbs);
phi_s = phi_b*tanh((Vg - (Vfb + Vbs))./Vt); we denote these results just with a “EKV GL simulation”
if(phi_s < phi_b/10) phi_s = phi_b/10; end; label.
For the simulated characteristics we have calculated the
Cdep = sqrt(rho*e_s*1e6./(2.0*phi_s));
kappa = Cox./(Cox + Cdep);
integral error between each simulated and experimental
characteristic by taking the ratio of the integrals of the
% -------------------------------------- respective curves. The accuracies are in Table I.
% Notational expressions:
% --------------------------------------
In the output characteristic (Figure 1) we observe quite
k1 = 2*beta*(Ut^2)./kappa; good agreement between simulation and measurement
U1 = 1/(2*Ut); results – 4.21 % accuracy. For the lower gate voltages (Vg =
Vds = Vd - Vs;
1, 1.3 V) we observe discrepancy between measurement/
% -------------------------------------- BSIM3v3 and our simulation of the Godfrey-Lazzaro model.
% Core model equations:
% -------------------------------------- Figure 1. Output characteristics
If = (log(1 + exp(U1*(kappa.*(Vg - Vt) - −3 I vs. V @ V
x 10 ds ds gs
Vs)))).^2; 6
Ir = (log(1 + exp(U1*(kappa.*(Vg - Vt) - EKV GL sim
Vd)))).^2; BSIM3v3 simulation
measurement [6]
Idsi = (If - Ir); 5
Ids = k1.*Idsi.*(1 + lambda_c.*Vds);

The same equations are coded in Verilog-A to create a

Ids [A]

cellview in the libraries of Cadence Design Framework.
Below we provide a portion of the GL model Verilog-A 2
analog begin

VG = V(g); VS = V(s); VD = V(d); 0

0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5
Vds [V]
// Threshold voltage
Vt = Vfb + abs(phi_b) + gamma*sqrt(abs(phi_b) IDS(VDS) @ VGS = 1.020, 1.316, 1.612, 1.908, 2.204 and 2.500 V ;
- Vbs); VBS = 0 V; L = 0.7 μm W = 20 μm..

…………………………………………………………………………. In the transfer characteristics (Figure 2) the agreement

// Drain current (66) between measurement and Godfrey-Lazzaro EKV
Id = k1.*Idi.*(1 + lambda_c.*Vd); implementation is very good – 5.38 %.
// −4 I vs. V @ V
x 10 ds gs bs
// Branch contributions 4
EKV GL sim
// ISI data
I(d,s) <+ Id;
end // analog


We simulate a N-channel MOSFET with L = 0.7 μm, W =

20 μm. In the figures below we present simulation results 1

obtained by our implementation of the Godfrey-Lazzaro

model, the results obtained by the BSIM3v3 within the
Cadence Spectre simulator (for a 0.35 μm CMOS 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5
Vgs [V]
technology with length set to 0.7 μm) and the measurements
Figure 2. Transfer characteristics
taken from [6]. Simulated characteristics are presented in IDS(VGS) @ VBS = –2.5, –2.0, –1.5, –1.0, –0.5 and 0 V ;
Figures 1 to 4; they are produced in Matlab. The BSIM3v3 VDS = 0.05 V; L = 0.7 μm W = 20 μm.
simulation results are taken from the Spectre output file and

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−3 gmd vs. Vds @ Vgs
x 10
7 Characteristic Accuracy %
EKV GL sim
ISI data Ids(Vds)@Vgs 4.21
Ids(Vgs)@Vbs 5.38
5 gmd 6.14

gm 12.6
4 Average 7.08
= dI /dV

The average accuracy of all the characteristics in Table I

is 7.08 %.

0 0.5 1
V [V]
1.5 2 2.5
A straightforward yet effective approach to manipulate
with compact models for circuit-level design purposes has

Figure 3. Transconductance gmd characteristics: been suggested. Simulation results have demonstrated the
gmd = dIDS/dVDS(VDS) @ VGS = 1.020, 1.316, 1.612, 1.908, 2.204 and validity of the method for analyzing MOSFET device
2.500 V ; VBS = 0 V; L = 0.7 μm W = 20 μm.
behaviors with an open source model (Gofrey-Lazzaro
g vs. V @ V
formulation of the EKV model) in a standard IC design
CAD tool (Cadence). The open source code allows direct
−4 m gs bs
x 10
EKV GL sim
ISI data access to model equations and parameters where the use of a
general purpose mathematical platform (such as Matlab)
plays an indispensable role. The fact that the model is coded

in a HDL (Verilog-A), makes it portable and applicable to

different simulation environments.
g = dI /dV

Coupling the flexibility of open source models and their


1 portable applicability to industry standard IC design tools

leads to real benefits for both design and educational

0.5 purposes.
0 0.5 1
V [V]
1.5 2 2.5
The present work is carried out within the framework of
the Project BY-TH-115/2005.
Figure 4. Transconductance gm characteristics:
gm = dIDS/dVGS(VGS) @ VBS = –2.5, –2.0, –1.5, –1.0, –0.5 и 0 V ; REFERENCES
VDS = 0.05 V; L = 0.7 μm W = 20 μm.
[1] M. Mierzwinski, P. O’Halloran, B. Troyanovsky, R. Dutton,
“Changing the paradigm for compact model integration in circuit
Figures 3 and 4 present the simulated transconductance simulators using Verilog-A”, Technical Proceedings of the 2003
gm and gmd characteristics. Here the accuracy is much Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show (Nanotech 2003), Vol.
lower compared to the other characteristics. This is expected 2, February 2003, pp. 376–379.
[2] G. Angelov, T. Takov, and St. Ristiç "MOSFET Models at the Edge
since these are second order relations. of 100-nm Sizes", Proc. of the 24th Intl. Conf. on Microelectronics
In Table I are given the average accuracies of the (MIEL 2004), Niš, Serbia and Montenegro, Vol. 1, pp. 295-298, May
simulated characteristics with the EKV-GL model. 2004.
[3] C. C. Enz, F. Krummenacher and E. A. Vittoz, “An Analytical MOS
Transistor Model Valid in All Regions of Operation and Dedicated to
The results demonstrate the validity of the suggested Low-Voltage and Low-Current Applications”, Journal of Analog
method for open simulations using standard HDL model Integrated Circuits and Systems Processing, vol. 8, pp. 83–114, 1995.
[4] M. Bucher, C. Lallement, C. Enz, F. Théodoloz, F. Krummenacher,
implementation. The fast and accurate simulations with “The EPFLEKV MOSFET Model Equations for Simulation,”
accuracy comparable to commercial simulators show the Technical Report, Model Version 2.6, Revision II (July 1998).]
practical applicability of the method to circuit-design and [5] M. D. Godfrey, J. Lazzaro, “A Device Model for Analog VLSI
Circuits”, 1997 (available online at
optimization purposes. The main advantages are that the
method offers flexibility of modeling by enabling the odeling_2.pdf
designer to directly access model equations and the [6] M. Bucher, C. Lallement, C. Enz and F. Krummenacher, “Accurate
MOS Modelling for Analog Circuit Simulation usingthe EKV MOST
portability of the model allowing the use of the model in Model”, IEEE ISCAS 96, pp. 703-6 vol.4, 1996.
different CAD tools.

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