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Detailed investigations and process characterizations were performed to identify and resolve the source for programmed cell charge loss and data retention capability within the EPROM cells of our 0.35 μm Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) process technology. Both front- and back-end processing steps influenced the data retention behavior, with the most significant impact arising from the use of a high density plasma (HDP) oxide as the inter-metal dielectric. We postulate that cumulative charge buildup during processing lead to the severe charge retention effects observed and near zero yield at wafer probe.
Date of Conference: 31 March-1 April 2003