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A testing structure was developed to more effectively detect the poly stringer defects in contemporary CMOS ICs. This structure is much more sensitive to poly stringer defects and is closer to the real product layout than the currently widely used structure using an active dummy underneath a poly comb. Many testing structure pieces manufactured in a 0.11 μn foundries process detect were stringers to characterize the processing design with the process testing structure. The data shows that the new structure more efficiently detects poly stringers. The results also show that the poly stringers are related to the shallow trench isolation (STI) width. This structure can be used to identify new designs for manufacturing rules for the active space. Thus, this method is very useful for IC foundries to detect poly stringers and to characterize the processing line isolation and tune the process recipe to improve product yields.