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28 March 2014 Systematic physical verification with topological patterns
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Design rule checks (DRC) are the industry workhorse for constraining design to ensure both physical and electrical manufacturability. Where DRCs fail to fully capture the concept of manufacturability, pattern-based approaches, such as DRC Plus, fill the gap using a library of patterns to capture and identify problematic 2D configurations. Today, both a DRC deck and a pattern matching deck may be found in advanced node process development kits. Major electronic design automation (EDA) vendors offer both DRC and pattern matching solutions for physical verification; in fact, both are frequently integrated into the same physical verification tool.

In physical verification, DRCs represent dimensional constraints relating directly to process limitations. On the other hand, patterns represent the 2D placement of surrounding geometries that can introduce systematic process effects. It is possible to combine both DRCs and patterns in a single topological pattern representation. A topological pattern has two separate components: a bitmap representing the placement and alignment of polygon edges, and a vector of dimensional constraints. The topological pattern is unique and unambiguous; there is no code to write, and no two different ways to represent the same physical structure. Furthermore, markers aligned to the pattern can be generated to designate specific layout optimizations for improving manufacturability.

In this paper, we describe how to do systematic physical verification with just topological patterns. Common mappings between traditional design rules and topological pattern rules are presented. We describe techniques that can be used during the development of a topological rule deck such as: taking constraints defined on one rule, and systematically projecting it onto other related rules; systematically separating a single rule into two or more rules, when the single rule is not sufficient to capture manufacturability constraints; creating test layout which represents the corners of what is allowed, or not allowed by a rule; improving manufacturability by systematically changing certain patterns; and quantifying how a design uses design rules. Performance of topological pattern search is demonstrated to be production full-chip capable.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Vito Dai, Ya-Chieh Lai, Frank Gennari, Edward Teoh, and Luigi Capodieci "Systematic physical verification with topological patterns", Proc. SPIE 9053, Design-Process-Technology Co-optimization for Manufacturability VIII, 905304 (28 March 2014);

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