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Critical dimension (CD) variation caused by defocus is largely systematic with dense lines ldquosmilingrdquo through focus while isolated lines ldquofrown.rdquo In this paper, we propose a new design methodology that allows explicit compensation of focus-dependent CD variation, in particular, either within a cell (self-compensated cells) or across cells in a critical path (self-compensated design). By creating iso and dense variants for each library cell, we can achieve designs that are more robust to focus variation. Optimization with a mixture of dense and iso cell variants is possible, both for area and leakage power in timing constraints (critical delay), with the latter an interesting complement to existing leakage-reduction techniques, such as dual-Vth. We implement both a heuristic and mixed-integer linear-programming (MILP) solution methods to address this optimization and experimentally compare their results. Results indicate that designing with a self-compensated cell library incurs 12% area penalty and 6% leakage increase over a baseline library while compensating for focus-dependent CD variation (i.e., the design meets timing constraints across a large range of focus variation). We observe 27% area penalty and 7% leakage increase at the worst case defocus condition using only single-pitch cells. The area penalty of circuits after using both the heuristic and MILP optimization approaches is reduced to 3% while maintaining timing. We also apply the optimization to leakage, which traditionally shows very large variability due to its exponential relationship with gate CD. We conclude that a mixed iso/dense library that is combined with a sensitivity-based optimization approach yields much better area/timing/leakage tradeoffs than using a self-compensated cell library alone. Self-compensated designs show 25% less leakage power on average at the worst defocus condition compared to a design employing a conventional library for the benchmarks studied.
Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:26 , Issue: 9 )
Date of Publication: Sept. 2007