Skip to Main Content
Scaling of transistor feature size over time has been facilitated by corresponding improvement in lithography technology. However, in recent times the wavelength of the optical light source used for photolithography has not scaled in the same rate as that of the minimum feature size of the transistor. In fact, starting with 180 nm devices, the wavelength of optical source has remained the same (at 193 nm) due to difficulties in finding a flicker-free, high energy, coherent light source with compatible improvement in lens material for focusing this light. Consequently, upcoming technology nodes (65 nm, 45 nm, 32 nm and 22 nm) will be using a light source with wavelength much greater than the feature size. This creates a peculiar problem where line width on manufactured devices is a function of relative spacing between adjacent lines. Despite numerous restriction on layout rules, interconnects may still suffer from constriction due to this peculiarity also known as forbidden pitch problem. A small manufacturing variation turns the constrictions to open faults. Gate leakage current is a significant concern for present and upcoming technology nodes. Due to gate leakage, an open fault is not truly an open circuit. Our simulation studies show that the leakage current steers the floating input of a gate to certain meta- stable states. This property actually makes it easier to detect open faults either through side channel excitation or by stuck-at tests. The major contributions of this paper are (i) lithographic simulation based identification of potential open fault sites, (ii) identification of meta-stable input states for these open inputs, (iii) length calculation for side channel signals for definitive detection of open faults. Together, they provide a complete CAD framework for testing lithography related open faults.