Archimedes is the GNU package for semiconductor device simulations that has been released for the first time on 2005 under GPL. It has been created by Jean Michel Sellier who is, since then, the leader of the project and the main developer. It is a Free software and thus it can be copied, modified and redistributed under GPL. This is the one of the big advantages of using Archimedes.
Archimedes belongs to the well-known family of TCAD software, i.e. tools utilized to assist the development of technologically relevant products. In particular, this package assists engineers in designing and simulating submicron and mesoscopic semiconductor devices. In a next-future version Archimedes will also be able to simulate nanodevices, using the Wigner formalism. Today Archimedes is used in several big companies for simulation and production purposes.
Archimedes is also useful for teaching purposes since everybody can access the sources, modify and test them. Today, it is used for teaching courses in several hundreds universities all around the world. Furthermore, a simplified version, developed for students, is available on nanoHUB.org.
The Ensemble Monte Carlo method is the method that Archimedes uses to simulate and predict the behaviour of a devices. Being the Monte Carlo very stable and reliable, Archimedes can be used to know the characteristics of a device even before this last is built.
The physics and geometry of a device is described simply by a script, which makes, in this sense, Archimedes a powerful tool for the simulation of quite general semiconductor devices.
Archimedes is able to simulate a plenty of physics effects and transport for electrons and heavy holes in Silicon, Germanium, GaAs, InSb, AlSb, AlAs , AlxInxSb, AlxIn(1-x)Sb, AlP, AlSb, GaP, GaSb, InP and their compounds (III-V semiconductor materials), along with Silicon Oxide, the applied and/or self-consistent electrostatic and magnetic fields by means of Poisson and Faraday equation. It is, also, able to deal with heterostructures.