Design Techniques for Lithography-Friendly Nanometer CMOS Integrated Circuits
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The Integrated Circuits industry has been a major driver of the outstanding changes and improvements in the modern day technology and life style that we are observing in our day to day life. The continuous scaling of CMOS technology has been one of the major challenges and success stories. However, as the CMOS technology advances deeply into the deep sub-micron technology nodes, the whole industry (both manufacturing and design) is starting to face new challenges. One major challenge is the control of the variation in device parameters. Lithography variations result from the industry incapability to come up with new light sources with a smaller wavelength than ArF source (193 nm wavelength). In this research, we develop better understanding of the photo-lithography variations and their effect on how the design gets patterned. We investigate the state-of-the-art mask correction and design manipulation techniques. We are focusing in our study on the different Optical Proximity Correction (OPC) and design retargeting techniques to assess how we can improve both the functional and parametric yield. Our goal is to achieve a fast and accurate Model Based Re-Targeting (MBRT) technique that can achieve a better functional yield during manufacturing by establishing the techniques to produce more lithography-friendly targets. Moreover, it can be easily integrated into a fab's PDK (due to its relatively high speed) to feedback the exact final printing on wafer to the designers during the early design phase. In this thesis, we focus on two main topics. First is the development of a fast technique that can predict the final mask shape with reasonable accuracy. This is our proposed Model-based Initial Bias (MIB) methodology, in which we develop the full methodology for creating compact models that can predict the perturbation needed to get to an OPC initial condition that is much closer to the final solution. This is very useful in general in the OPC domain, where it can save almost 50% of the OPC runtime. We also use MIB in our proposed Model-Based Retargeting (MBRT) flow to accurately compute lithography hot-spots location and severity. Second, we develop the fast model-based retargeting methodology that is capable of fixing lithography hot spots and improving the functional yield. Moreover, in this methodology we introduce to the first time the concept of distributed retargeting. In distributed MBRT, not only the design portion that is suffering from the hot-spot is moving to get it fixed but also the surrounding designs and design fragments also contribute to the hot-spot fix. Our proposed model-based retargeting methodology also includes the multiple-patterning awareness as well as the electrical-connectivity-awareness (via-awareness). We used Mentor Graphics Calibre Litho-API c-based programing to develop all of the methodologies we explain in this thesis and tested it on 20nm and 10nm nodes.