As device interconnect layers increase and transistor critical dimensions decrease below sub-micron to cater for higher speed and higher packing density, various new and subtle failure mechanisms have emerged and are becoming increasingly prevalent. Silicon dislocation is a new failure mechanism that falls in this category and was for the first time, uncovered in submicron multilayered CMOS devices. This mechanism was responsible for a systematic yield problem; identified as the 'centre GFA wafer' functional failure problem. In this paper, several breakthrough failure analysis techniques used to narrow down and identify this new mechanism will be presented. Root cause determination and potential solution to this problem will also be discussed.

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