Design Rule Complexity Rising


Variation, edge placement error, and a variety of other issues at new process geometries are forcing chipmakers and EDA vendors to confront a growing volume of increasingly complex, and sometimes interconnected design rules to ensure chips are manufacturable. The number of rules has increased to the point where it's impossible to manually keep track of all of them, and that has led to new pr... » read more

Functional Safety Methodologies For Automotive Applications


Safety-critical automotive applications have stringent demands for functional safety and reliability. Traditionally, functional safety requirements have been managed by car manufacturers and system providers. However, with the increasing complexity of electronics involved, the responsibility of addressing functional safety is now propagating through the supply chain to semiconductor companies a... » read more

Multiphysics Reliability Signoff For Next-Gen Auto Electronics Systems


The automotive industry is in the midst of a sea change. Growing market needs for electrification, connectivity on the go, advanced driver assistance systems, and ultimately the goal of autonomous driving, are creating newer requirements and greater challenges. A chassis on four wheels is now fitted with cameras, radar and other sensors, which will be the eyes of the driverless car, as well as ... » read more

A Reliability Baseline Is Essential For Today’s Complex IC Designs


Design rule checking (DRC) represents a common platform by which we can all compare relative rule complexity. The industry expectation is that all foundries will provide complete DRC and layout vs. schematic (LVS) rule decks at all process nodes for the successful tape-out of IC designs. However, not only are DRC operations growing significantly (Figure 1), but the scope of the rules needed to ... » read more

Chip Aging Accelerates


Reliability is becoming an increasingly important proof point for new chips as they are rolled out in new markets such as automotive, cloud computing and industrial IoT, but actually proving that a chip will function as expected over time is becoming much more difficult. In the past, reliability generally was considered a foundry issue. Chips developed for computers and phones were designed ... » read more

How Robust Is Your ESD Protection? Are You Sure?


Electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection is critical at advanced nodes to safeguard designs against effects intensified by shrinking transistor dimensions and oxide layer thicknesses. On the other hand, ESD protection checks are consuming vastly more runtime and memory due to the growing die sizes of system-on-chips (SoCs) and the number of transistors they can hold. Designers are facing increa... » read more

Improving Automotive Reliability


Semiconductor reliability requirements are rapidly evolving. New applications such as ADAS/self-driving cars and drones are pushing the limits for system reliability. A mobile phone that overheats in your pocket is annoying. In automobiles, it's a much different story. Overheating can impact the operation of backup sensors, which alert the driver that a pedestrian or obstacle is behind them.... » read more

Addressing Thermal Reliability In Next-Gen FinFET Designs


The next generation of chips on the 10/7nm finFET processes will be able to cram more devices into same area while also boosting performance, but there's a price to pay for that. The 3D fin structures trap heat, so the the temperature rises on the device and there is no way to dissipate that heat. This combination of higher current density, higher performance and higher temperature has a det... » read more

How Reliable Are FinFETs?


Stringent safety requirements in the automotive and industrial sectors are forcing chipmakers to re-examine a number of factors that can impact reliability over the lifespan of a device. Many of these concerns are not new. Electrical overstress (EOS), electrostatic discharge (ESD) and [getkc id="160" kc_name="electromigration"] (EM) are well understood, and have been addressed by EDA tools f... » read more

Transient Power Problems Rising


Transient power is becoming much more problematic at 10/7nm, adding yet another level of complexity for design teams already wrestling with power issues caused by leakage, a variety of power management techniques to control dynamic power, and leakage current. At each new node there is less headroom for engineering teams to address these problems, and more likelihood that what they do in one ... » read more

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