Abstract

Static Random-Access Memory (SRAM) failure analysis (FA) is important during chip-level reliability evaluation and yield improvement. Single-bit, paired-bit, and quad-bit failures—whose defect should be at the failing bit-cell locations—can be directly sent for Physical Failure Analysis (PFA). For one or multiple row/column failures with too large of a suspected circuit area, more detailed fault isolation is required before PFA. Currently, Photon Emission Microscopy (PEM) is the most commonly used Electrical Failure Analysis (EFA) technique for this kind of fail [1]. Soft-Defect Localization / Dynamic Laser Stimulation (SDL/DLS) can also be applied on soft (Vmin) row/column fails for further isolation [2]. However, some failures do not have abnormal emission spots or DLS sensitivity and require different localization techniques. Laser Voltage Imaging (LVI) and Laser Voltage Probing (LVP) are widely established for logic EFA, [3] but require periodic activation via ATE which may not be possible using MBIST hardware and test-patterns optimized for fast production testing. This paper discusses the test setup challenges to enable LVI & LVP on SRAM fails and includes two case studies on <14 nm advanced process silicon.

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