Failure analysis is a critical process in successful IC production. No matter how comprehensive the design rules are, no matter how thorough the verification strategies are, there will be chip failures in production. Understanding the cause of these failures is crucial to being able to implement design strategies and corrective technology to ensure the failures are eliminated in future designs. At its best, failure analysis enables design companies to adhere to the time-tested adage of inventors and designers everywhere—”Never make the same mistake twice.”
However, failure analysis has many layers. Layout-aware scan diagnosis can reduce the suspect area by up to 85% (compared to logic-only diagnosis), allowing engineers to focus on only those portions of a design most likely to contain the defect. With sets of diagnosis data, you can perform yield analysis to identify the most likely causes of yield failure, making volume diagnosis results actionable and drastically speeding up the analysis process.
Now there’s root cause deconvolution (RCD), a statistical technology that analyzes multiple layout-aware diagnosis reports to identify the underlying defect distribution (root cause distribution) that is most likely to explain a set of diagnosis results. RCD also enables “virtual failure analysis,” or the ability to determine defect distribution for a population of failing devices before any failure analysis is performed. With the ability to identify root cause of yield loss from fail data alone, RCD is a very cost-effective way of establishing a clear picture of the defect distribution before any failure analysis (FA) is done. This is something that has been virtually impossible for fabless companies, with little access to manufacturing data, to do in the past.
By improving the failure analysis relevance and success rate, RCD can dramatically reduce the failure analysis cycle time from months to days. Failure is a necessary part of success, but the faster you can learn from your mistakes, correct them, and move on, the faster (and more profitably) you will reach your ultimate goal.
Want to learn more? Get all the details on this new technology in our white paper, Root Cause Deconvolution—The Next Step in Diagnosis Resolution Improvement, now available for download.