The advances made in process technology along with system-on-a-chip capabilities have made failure analysis ever more difficult and expensive to perform. Quick product time-to-market and the required high fabrication yields demand top quality performance from the failure analysis team. In this paper we present a methodology for embedded memory analysis (EMA) which provides design, layout, and process characterization, and yield and reliability enhancement for standard cell ASIC products. The methodology takes the power of memory testing and failure signature analysis and brings it to the logic chip to accurately predict root cause defects. We also present the application tool that is used to query, bitmap, analyze, and report the data, along with numerous case histories. This process has greatly improved failure analysis hit rates and provided much quicker turn-times for process improvement feedback and customer return root cause analysis.

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