2020 Volume 13 Pages 42-55
In this article, we will present recent advances in VLSI reliability effects with a focus on electromigration (EM) failure/aging effect on interconnects, which is one of the most important reliability concerns for VLSI systems especially at the nanometer regime. One of the most important advances for EM analysis in recent years is the recognition that EM failure analysis can't depend on single wire segment anymore, as done in the traditional Black and Blech's based methods. New generation of EM modeling and design must consider all the wire segments in an interconnect as the hydrostatic stress in those wire segments affect each other. Such recognition bring both challenges and opportunities. We will start with physics-level stress-oriented characterization of EM failure effects and recently proposed three-phase EM models. Then we present a new EM immortality check at the circuit level considering multi-segment interconnects and void saturation volumes. After this, we will present how to accelerate EM aging effects for fast EM validation at the circuit level under normal working conditions using advanced structure-based techniques. Finally, we will present new EM sign-off analysis tool, called EMspice, at the full-chip power grid level considering the interplays between resistance changes from post-voiding processes and current density changes from power grids over the aging process. A number of other relevant works will be reviewed and compared as well.