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Evolution of manufacturing closure for advanced nodes (Part 1)

Posted: 20 Sep 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:manufacturing? 32nm? 22nm design 1challenges?

Manufacturing closure has become a key design challenge at smaller technology nodes such as 32nm and 22nm. Starting at 45/40nm, the increasing complexity of DRC and DFM rules began to stress traditional physical design flows. This trend is expected to continue and worsen at the 32/22nm nodes, where manufacturing closure may become a serious bottleneck in design schedules.

The source of the growing manufacturing sign-off challenge is the widening gap between manufacturing and design. Features get smaller, but the resolution available through lithography using 193nm light sources is reaching its limits. As we move to 32nm and beyond, the lithographic process introduces increasing variability since diffraction patterns are sensitive to specific layout shapes, and focus on the wafer becomes more sensitive to vertical topology due to depth of field effects. These factors introduce significant variations in line width, thickness and other physical characteristics that affect the yield and performance of ICs.

Although process engineers do their best to address all these issues with tight manufacturing process controls, these manufacturing challenges must be dealt with during physical design for optimal yield and quality of results. This requires that designers have more knowledge about the limitations of the manufacturing process and exactly what shapesboth alone and in proximity to each otherhave negative impact on manufacturing yield. Forbidden patterns must be eliminated from the design to ensure high yield. The earlier this can be done during the physical design process, the faster the design team can achieve sign-off, and the less impact remedial modifications will have on the performance or die size of the final product.

This article, the first of three parts, discusses the new challenges in manufacturing closure.

View the PDF document for more information.

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