Single column failure [1], one of the complex failure modes in SRAM is possibly induced by multiform defect types at diverse locations. Especially, soft single column failure is of great complexity. As physical failure analysis (PFA) is expensive and time-consuming, thorough electrical failure analysis (EFA) is needed to precisely localize the failing area to greater precision before PFA. The methodology involves testing for failure mode validation, understanding the circuit and using EFA tools such as IR-OBIRCH (InfraRed-Optical Beam Induced Resistance CHange) and MCT (MerCad Telluride, HgCdTe) for analysis. However, the electrical failure signature for soft single column failure is usually marginal, so additional techniques are needed to obtain accurate isolation and electrical characterization instead of blindly looking around. Thus in this discussion, we will also present the use of internal probing techniques like C-AFM [2] (Conductive Atomic Force Microscopy) and a nanoprobing technique [3] for characterizing electrical properties and understanding the root cause.

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