The Time Is Now For A Common Model Interface


By Ahmed Ramadan and Greg Curtis Driven by consumer demand for “cheaper, faster, and better,” the semiconductor industry is continually pushing the migration to smaller process geometries. This continued scaling of complex designs into advanced process nodes is critical for applications ranging from high-performance computing to low-power mobile devices. In the past, products like sma... » read more

Process Variation And Aging


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss design reliability and circuit aging with João Geada, chief technologist for the semiconductor business unit at ANSYS; Hany Elhak, product management director, simulation and characterization in the custom IC and PCB group at Cadence; Christoph Sohrmann, advanced physical verification at Fraunhofer EAS; and Naseer Khan, vice president of sales at M... » read more

FD-SOI At The Edge


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss changes in the FD-SOI world and what's behind them, with James Lamb, deputy CTO for advanced semiconductor manufacturing and corporate technical fellow at Brewer Science; Giorgio Cesana, director of technical marketing at STMicroelectronics; Olivier Vatel, senior vice president and CTO at Screen Semiconductor Solutions; and Carlos Mazure, CTO at Soi... » read more

Why Chips Die


Semiconductor devices contain hundreds of millions of transistors operating at extreme temperatures and in hostile environments, so it should come as no surprise that many of these devices fail to operate as expected or have a finite lifetime. Some devices never make it out of the lab and many others die in the fab. It is hoped that most devices released into products will survive until they be... » read more

Taming NBTI To Improve Device Reliability


Negative-bias temperature instability is a growing issue at the most advanced process nodes, but it also has proven extremely difficult to tame using conventional approaches. That finally may be starting to change. NBTI is an aging mechanism in field-effect transistors that leads to a change of the characteristic curves of a transistor during operation. The result can be a drift toward unint... » read more

Minimizing Chip Aging Effects


Aging kills semiconductors, and it is a growing problem for an increasing number of semiconductor applications—especially as they migrate to more advanced nodes. Additional analysis and prevention methods are becoming necessary for safety critical applications. While some aspects of aging can be mitigated up front, others are tied to the operation of the device. What can an engineering tea... » read more

Chip Aging Becomes Design Problem


Chip aging is a growing problem at advanced nodes, but so far most design teams have not had to deal with it. That will change significantly as new reliability requirements roll out across markets such as automotive, which require a complete analysis of factors that affect aging. Understanding the underlying physics is critical, because it can lead to unexpected results and vulnerabilities. ... » 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

Transistor Aging Intensifies At 10/7nm And Below


Transistor aging and reliability are becoming much more troublesome for design teams at 10nm and below. Concepts like ‘infant mortality’ and 'bathtub curves' are not new to semiconductor design, but they largely dropped out of sight as methodologies and EDA tools improved. To get past infant mortality, a burn-in process would be done, particularly for memories. And for reliability, which... » read more

Improving Transistor Reliability


One of the more important challenges in reliability testing and simulation is the duty cycle dependence of degradation mechanisms such as negative bias temperature instability ([getkc id="278" kc_name="NBTI"]) and hot carrier injection (HCI). For example, as previously discussed, both the shift due to NBTI and the recovery of baseline behavior are very dependent on device workload. This is ... » read more

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