Test engineers and failure analyst familiar with random access memory arrays have probably encountered the frustration of dealing with address descrambling. The resulting nonsequential internal bit cell counting scheme often means that the location of the failing cell under investigation is nowhere near where it is expected to be. A logical to physical algorithm for decoding the standard library block might have been provided with the design, but is it still correct now that the array has been halved and inverted to fit the available space in a new processor chip? Off-line labs have traditionally been tasked with array layout verification. In the past, hard and soft failures could be induced on the frontside of finished product, then bitmapped to see if the sites were in agreement. As density tightened, flip-chip FIB techniques to induce a pattern of hard fails on packaged devices came into practice. While the backside FIB edit method is effective, it is complex and expensive. The installation of an in-line Dual Beam FIB created new opportunities to move FA tasks out of the lab and into the FAB. Using a new edit procedure, selected wafers have an extensive pattern of defects 'written' directly into the memory array at an early process level. Bitmapping of the RAM blocks upon wafer completion is then used to verify correlation between the physical damaged cells and the logical sites called out in the test results. This early feedback in-line methodology has worked so well that it has almost entirely displaced the complex laboratory procedure of backside FIB memory array descramble verification.

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