Silicon microsurgery, also known as on-silicon circuit editing, has evolved into a critical capability for the ramp-up of a new microprocessor or complex integrated circuit (IC) from tapeout to production. The ability to perform edits directly on a packaged device serves two major purposes during a product’s ramp. The first is to perform in-situ verification of logic and timing related design changes, and the second is to provide engineering samples to enable further debug for system and tester level validation. In both cases, sample generation using silicon microsurgery technology can be performed in a fraction of the time it would take to tapeout a new mask layer and generate samples through the fabrication process. Silicon microsurgery techniques are also employed to assist with failure analysis. For this application, these techniques are applied to help isolate a stuck-at fault or open on a failing node. This is done by bi-passing the failure point, through signal rerouting or by performing isolation cuts to further localize the defect. This paper will review several advanced siliconmicrosurgery edit applications and supporting technologies, microsurgery RC material properties, and finally some results from 0.25 and 0.18 micron technologies.

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