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SwampFinder [IC design for manufacture]

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3 Author(s)
Maynard, D.N. ; Microelectron. Div., IBM Corp., Essex Junction, VT, USA ; Reuter, B.B. ; Rosner, R.J.

Since the semiconductor industry has aggressively shortened product development cycles, characterizing and solving design-process sensitivities has seen a drastic reduction in the “window of opportunity”. Thus, many semiconductor fabricators must build products that include these sensitivities. Often, a design revision is no longer a business option, given time-to-market requirements; therefore, the manufacturer must engineer a serviceable alternative. Knowledge of these potential problems prior to releasing wafers allows manufacturing engineering to make process adjustments encompassing these specific parts. Many of these problems may be isolated to specific geometries or shape configurations within the design data, and, therefore, sophisticated shape checks may be deployed. The IBM Microelectronics Vermont facility has developed a system for identification of these locations (i.e. “find the muck in the design”) using a tool called “SwampFinder”. This paper discusses both the supporting methodology and software behind this approach and includes several examples illustrating the types of sensitivities that may be identified. This paper also describes a feed-forward strategy targeted at both the reduction of incoming incompatible design content and the engineering of tolerant processes. Lastly, a larger picture of physical design characterization in manufacturing is introduced

Published in:

Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference, 2001 IEEE/SEMI

Date of Conference: