Fill/Cut Self-Aligned Double-Patterning


By David Abercrombie, Rehab Ali, Ahmed Hamed-Fatehy, and Shetha Nolke Self-aligned double patterning (SADP) is an alternative double-patterning process to the traditional litho-etch-litho-etch (LELE) approach used in most advanced production nodes. The main difference between the two approaches is that in LELE, the layout is divided between two masks, and the second mask is aligned with resp... » read more

Creating An Accurate FEOL CMP Model


By Ruben Ghulghazaryan, Jeff Wilson, and Ahmed AbouZeid For decades, semiconductor manufacturers have used chemical-mechanical polishing (CMP) as the primary technique for the smoothing and leveling (planarization) of dielectrics and metal layers. CMP modeling allows  design and manufacturing teams to find and fix potential planarization issues before the actual CMP process is applied to a ... » read more

The Pitfalls Of Auto-Stitching In Double-Patterning


Ever since the first double-pattern (DP) odd-cycle error ring was produced on a layout, designers have longed for a magic solution to solve it. Traditionally, the first approach to fixing an odd-cycle error was to move a polygon or a polygon edge to increase spacing to an adjoining polygon in the cycle. Alternatively, you could remove a polygon altogether, or split it into two pieces. All of th... » read more

Device Pin-Specific Property Extraction For Layout Simulation


As we work through the sub-20 nm design space, the interactions between and effects on devices that are near each other are becoming critical factors in achieving the desired electrical performance. Accurate extraction of device pin-specific properties for modelling these effects is essential to attaining design goals. LVS extraction challenges Layout vs. schematic (LVS) comparison tools prov... » read more

Colorless vs. Colored Double-Patterning Design Flows


Colored vs. Colorless double patterning design flows—do you know which one is best for your design? What options does your foundry allow? Do you debug one differently from the other? In this short video, I’ll demonstrate the differences between colored and colorless DP design flows, and explain the options and potential pitfalls of each approach. With a better understanding of how to design... » read more

Pattern Matching In Test And Yield Analysis


By Jonathan Muirhead and Geir Eide It’s no secret that a successful yield ramp directly impacts integrated circuit (IC) product cost and time-to-market. Tools and techniques that help companies ramp to volume faster, while also reducing process and design variability, can be the difference between profit and loss in a competitive market. And while pattern matching technology has been aroun... » read more

Pattern Matching in Design and Verification


Pattern matching (PM) was first introduced as the semiconductor industry began to shift from simple one-dimensional rule checks to the two-dimensional checks required by sub-resolution lithography. These rule checks proved far more complex to write, hard to code for fast runtimes, and difficult to debug. Incorporating an automated visual capture and compare process enabled designers to define t... » read more

ECOs and Multi-Patterning: It Can Be Done


By David Abercrombie and Alex Pearson A lot has been written and discussed about how to decompose (color) layouts for advanced process nodes that require multi­patterning (MP). However, one topic that has been sorely ignored is how to efficiently make changes to designs that are already colored, or even taped out and processed. We tend to act like all designs work out the first time through... » read more

Reducing Post-Placement Leakage With Stress-Enhanced Fill Cells


By Valeriy Sukharev, Jun-Ho Choy, Armen Kteyan and Henrik Hovsepyan As downward scaling of transistors continues, optimizing power consumption for mobile devices is a major concern. Power consumption consists of two components: dynamic and static. Dynamic (active) power is used while the chip is performing various functions, while static (leakage) power is consumed by leakage current (Figure... » read more

When And How Should I Color My DP layout?


Designers working with advanced process technologies that require double patterning often find themselves puzzling over the best way to setup or optimize their design flows to ensure their layouts can be decomposed without time-wasting mistakes. Because manual coloring can be challenging even for experienced engineers, many prefer to use automated coloring solutions. But when is the best time a... » read more

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