Effect of Regularity-Enhanced Layout on Variability and Circuit Performance of Standard Cells

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As the minimum feature size shrinks down far below sub-wavelength, Design for Manufacturability or layout regularity plays an important role for maintaining pattern fidelity in photolithography. However, it also incurs overheads in circuit performances due to parasitic capacitance. In this paper, we examine the effect of layout regularity on printability and circuit performance by lithography simulation and transistor-level simulation. It is shown that regularity-enhanced cells provide better Critical Dimension (CD) stability under defocus and lead to delay increase. Then we evaluate the effect of layout regularity by a real chip measurement in 90nm, 65nm and 45nm processes. For example, in a 65nm process, inverter Ring Oscillators (ROs) that have the smallest poly pitch with dummy-poly insertion exhibits 19% reduction of WID and D2D variation with delay overhead of 2.5%, compared to the ROs without dummy-poly insertion. However, we have observed that the effect of layout regularity varies depending on fabrication processes and circuit structures. It is therefore important to obtain the best trade-off among performance overhead and variability reduction for each process technology.


  • Information and Media Technologies

    Information and Media Technologies 5(2), 424-433, 2010

    Information and Media Technologies Editorial Board


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