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Approaching Yield in the Nanometer Age    



The Framework for an Extensible DFM Methodology

We must rethink the way we design as we dive deeper into the nanometer space. Tools, techniques, and methods that once worked without fail cannot hold up at the 65 and 45 nm depths, making it more challenging than ever to achieve yield.

Not only are more DRC rules required, but the rules are becoming much more complex in light of more manufacturing issues. Yet advanced DRC is still not enough. We must redefine the sign-off process itself to include a spectrum of new methods that assess design quality. More of the responsibility for yield must shift to the designer, so the fabless model, where foundry information flows freely, increases in importance.

In the nanometer age, sign-off must include not only fundamental, rule-based physical verification and parasitic extraction, but also a set of automated technologies that help improve yield by enhancing the design itself.

DFM solutions must deliver these automated technologies to the designer in a practical and easy to use way. We need new ways to visualize and prioritize the data produced by the analytical tools. Existing tools need expanded architectures to provide yield characterization and enhancement capabilities. The most successful DFM methodologies in the nanometer age will apply these new capabilities throughout the design flow — not just at the point of sign-off.

What You Will Learn

This tutorial details the new technical challenges and solutions within the business and historical context of the IC design and manufacturing process. It shows the importance of the fabless model as part of a more holistic DFM methodology, and includes demonstrations of what the new tools look like.

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