In most fully utilized integrated circuit (IC) production facilities, profit is very closely linked with yield. In even the most controlled manufacturing environments, defects due to foreign material are a still major contributor to yield loss. Ideally, an IC manufacturer will have ample engineering resources to address any problem that arises. In the real world, staffing limitations require that some tasks must be left undone and potential benefits left unrealized. Therefore, it is important to prioritize problems in a manner that will give the maximum benefit to the manufacturer. When offered a smorgasbord of problems to solve, most people (engineers included) will start with what is most interesting or the most comfortable to work on. By providing a system that accurately predicts the impact of a wide variety of defect types, a rational method of prioritizing engineering effort can be made. To that effect, a program was developed to determine and rank the major yield detractors in a mixed analog/digital FET manufacturing line. The two classical methods of determining yield detractors are chip failure analysis and defect monitoring on drop in test die. Both of these methods have short comings: 1) Chip failure analysis is painstaking and very time consuming. As a result, the sample size is very small. 2) Drop in test die are usually designed for device parametric analysis rather than defect analysis. To provide enough wafer real estate to do meaningful defect analysis would render the wafer worthless for production. To avoid these problems, a defect monitor was designed that provided enough area to detect defects at the same rate or better than the NMOS product die whose yield was to be optimized. The defect monitor was comprehensive and electrically testable using such equipment as the Prometrix LM25 and other digital testers. This enabled the quick accumulation of data which could be handled statistically and mapped individually. By scaling the defect densities found on the monitors to the known sensitivities of the product wafer, the defect types were ranked by defect limiting yield. (Limiting yield is the resultant product yield if there were no other failure mechanisms other than the type being considered.) These results were then compared to the product failure analysis results to verify that the monitor was finding the same types of defects in the same proportion which were troubling our product. Finally, the major defect types were isolated and reduced using the short loop capability of the monitor.