AbstractsBusiness Management & Administration

Case studies on lithography-friendly vlsi circuit layout

by Pratik Jitendra Shah

Institution: Texas A&M University
Year: 2009
Keywords: Lithography
Record ID: 1854427
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1969.1/ETD-TAMU-3120


Moore?s Law has driven a continuous demand for decreasing feature sizes used in Very Large Scale Integrated (VLSI) technology which has outpaced the solutions offered by lithography hardware. Currently, a light wavelength of 193nm is being used to print sub-65nm features. This introduces process variations which cause mismatches between desired and actual wafer feature sizes. However, the layout which affects the printability of a circuit can be modified in a manner which can make it more lithography-friendly. In this work, we intend to implement these modifications as a series of perturbations on the initial layout generated by the CAD tool for the circuit. To implement these changes we first calculate the feature variations offline on the boundaries of all possible standard cell pairs used in the circuit layout and record them in a Look-Up Table (LUT). After the CAD tool generates the initial placement of the circuit, we use the LUT to estimate the variations on the boundaries of all the standard cells. Depending on the features which may have the highest feature variations we assign a cost to the layout and our aim is now to reduce the cost of the layout after implementing perturbations which could be a simple cell flip or swap with a neighboring cell. The algorithm used to generate a circuit placement with a low cost is Simulated Annealing which allows a high probability for a solution with a higher cost to be selected during the initial iterations and as time goes on it tends closer to the greedy algorithm. The idea here is to avoid a locally optimum solution. It is also essential to minimize the impact of the iterations performed on the initial solution in terms of wirelength, vias and routing congestion. We validate our procedure on ISCAS85 benchmark circuits by simulating dose and defocus variations using the Mentor tool Calibre LFD. We obtain a reduction of greater 20% in the number of instances with the highest cell boundary feature variations. The wirelength and the number of vias showed an increase of roughly 2.2-8.8% and 1.2- 7.8% respectively for different circuits. The routing congestion by and large remains unaffected.