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Manufacturing of integrated circuits relies on the sequence of many hundred process steps. Each of these steps will have more or less variation, which has to be within a,certain limit to guarantee the chips functionality at a target speed. But, not every chip layout is susceptive to process variation the same way, which requires a link between process,capabilities and product design. This paper will present a novel Logic Characterization Vehicle (LCV) to investigate the yield and performance impact of process variation on high volume product chips. The LCV combines and manipulates new or already documented circuits like memory cells and combinatorial logic circuits within a JIG interface that allows fast and easy testability. Beside the functionality of such circuits, also path delay as well as cross talk issues can be determined. A standard digital functional tester can be used, since all timing critical measurements will be performed within the JIG. The described method allows early implementation of existing circuits for future technology nodes (shrinks). A Design Of Experiments (DOE) based implementation of possible layout manipulations will determine their impact on yield and performance of a target design as well as its sensitivity to process variation. The described approach can be used at a much earlier stage of product and process development, which will significantly shorten yield ramp.
Date of Conference: 8-11 April 2002