Abstract

Dynamic Laser Stimulation using Continuous Wave (CW) Lasers has been a very important technique in fault isolating soft failures due to process defects and design speed paths in microprocessors. However, the rapid scaling down of the process technologies and the high density of logic laid out in silicon has made it difficult to precisely fault isolate using a conventional continuous wave laser which has a laser spot size of about ~300nm. Also, the remnant effects of a CW laser DLS like banding due to n-well interactions make it further difficult to achieve high resolution fault isolation. In this paper we discuss how by using a modulated pico-second pulsed laser, a DLS suspect is isolated to cell internal nets, which using a CW laser spanned across multiple cells. This is achieved by modulating the pulsed laser using an Electro-optical modulator and restricting the stimulation to only those parts of a test-pattern where the signal propagation occurs. Also, by synchronizing the pulsed laser with the clock of the test-program and changing the laser pulse delivery in time, high stimulation levels were achieved without being invasive. This revealed extra data points (DLS sites) that can help with making precisely accurate Physical FA plans that reduce turnaround time and also ensure high success rates. Specifically, in the case of a bridging defect between two nets wherein DLS sites were only seen on the victim net using conventional CW laser, the time resolved pulsed laser revealed DLS sites on the aggressor net as well. This confirmed the bridging between the two nets since the aggressor net was not electrically connected with the victim net. We discuss in detail how the DLS sites play their role in framing the perfect Physical FA plan. A detailed study of the resolution achieved using time resolved pulsed laser and its comparison with the same using a CW laser is shown on 14nm FinFET technology.

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