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Chemical-mechanical polishing (CMP), active and via fills have become indispensable aspects of semiconductor manufacturing. CMP fills are used to reduce metal thickness variations due to chemical-mechanical polishing. Via fills are used to improve neighboring via printability and reliability of low-k and ultra low-k dielectrics. Active region fills are used for STI CMP uniformity and stress optimization. Although modern parasitic extraction tools accurately handle grounded fills and regular interconnects, such tools use only rough approximations to assess the capacitance impact of floating fills, such as assuming that floating fills are grounded or that each fill is merged with neighboring ones. To reduce such inaccuracies, we provide a design of experiments (DOE) which complements what is possible with existing extraction tools. Through the proposed DOE set, a design or mask house can generate normalized fill tables to correct for the inaccuracies of existing extraction tools when floating fills are present. Golden interconnect capacitance values can be updated using these normalized fill tables. Our proposed DOE enables extensive analyses of fill impacts on coupling capacitances. We show through 3-D field solver simulations that the assumptions used in extractors result in significant inaccuracies. We present analyses of fill impacts for an example technology and also provide analyses using the normalized fill tables to be used in the extraction flow for three different standard fill algorithms. We also extend our analyses and methodology to via fills and active region fills, which have more recently been introduced into semiconductor design-manufacturing methodologies and for which sufficient understanding is still lacking.
Date of Publication: Feb. 2008