Electromigration Performance Of Fine-Line Cu Redistribution Layer (RDL) For HDFO Packaging


The downsizing trend of devices gives rise to continuous demands of increasing input/output (I/O) and circuit density, and these needs encourage the development of a High-Density Fan-Out (HDFO) package with fine copper (Cu) redistribution layer (RDL). For mobile and networking application with high performance, HDFO is an emerging solution because aggressive design rules can be applied to HDFO ... » read more

3D-ICs May Be The Least-Cost Option


When 2.5D and 3D packaging were first conceived, the general consensus was that only the largest semiconductor houses would be able to afford them, but development costs are quickly coming under control. In some cases, these advanced packages actually may turn out to be the lowest-cost options. With stacked die [1], each die is considered to be a complete functional block or sub-system. In t... » read more

Help, 3D-IC Is Stuck In A Country Song


Every time I focus on three-dimensional (3D) integrated circuit (IC) design, I start hearing the Luke Bryan song “Rain Makes Corn, Corn Makes Whiskey.” Not because I need a strong drink to work with 3D-IC designs, but because there is a similar, although slightly more complicated, series of cause and effect issues that impact 3D-ICs. Pushing electrons through very thin metal wires and switc... » read more

Reliability On The Rise In IC Design


Reliability has been an important factor in the semiconductor industry for decades. A closer look reveals three main priorities: In the area of technology development and optimization, the microscopic mechanisms that lead to degradation must be identified and understood before they can be fixed. Microanalytical methods are used here as well as TCAD simulations. If it’s not possible to... » read more

Mitigating Electromigration In Chip Design


From smartphones to laptops, we use a variety of devices every day that rely on integrated circuits (ICs), or chips, to function. These chips are made up of thousands of transistors and interconnects, which transmit electrical signals from one part of the chip to another. But as demand for speed and complexity forces more energy through ever-smaller devices, this concentrated current flow can t... » read more

3D-IC Reliability Degrades With Increasing Temperature


The reliability of 3D-IC designs is dependent upon the ability of engineering teams to control heat, which can significantly degrade performance and accelerate circuit aging. While heat has been problematic in semiconductor design since at least 28nm, it is much more challenging to deal with inside a 3D package, where electromigration can spread to multiple chips on multiple levels. “Be... » read more

IC Stresses Affect Reliability At Advanced Nodes


Thermal-induced stress is now one of the leading causes of transistor failures, and it is becoming a top focus for chipmakers as more and different kinds of chips and materials are packaged together for safety- and mission-critical applications. The causes of stress are numerous. In heterogeneous packages, it can stem from multiple components composed of different materials. “These materia... » read more

On-Chip Power Distribution Modeling Becomes Essential Below 7nm


Modeling power distribution in SoCs is becoming increasingly important at each new node and in 3D-ICs, where tolerances involving power are much tighter and any mistake can cause functional failures. At mature nodes, where there is more metal, power problems continue to be rare. But at advanced nodes, where chips are running at higher frequencies and still consuming the same or greater power... » read more

Minimizing EM/IR Impacts On IC Design Reliability And Performance


By Joel Mercier and Karen Chow As technologies and foundry process nodes continue to advance, it gets more difficult to design and verify integrated circuits (ICs). The challenges become even more apparent in 5nm and below nodes, and as the industry moves away from fin field-effect transistor (finFET) and into gate-all-around field-effect transistor (GAAFET) technologies. There are many prob... » read more

Machine Learning for VLSI CAD: A Case Study in On-Chip Power Grid Design


Abstract "With the improvement of VLSI technology, on-chip power grid design is becoming more challenging than before. In this design phase of VLSI CAD, power grids are generated in order to make power and ground connections to transistors or logic blocks. However, due to the scaling of supply voltage and increase in the number of transistors per unit area of the chip, power grid design has ... » read more

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