Impact of DFM issues

Impact of DFM issues (Yield and Reliability): Another phenomenon which is increasingly becoming critical with nano technology, are Yield and Reliability.Yield and reliability have direct consequences on the financial performance of any semiconductor company. Higher yield ensures lower cost per unit meaning higher profitability margins and better response to pricing pressures. Reliability on the other hand ensures consistency of performance of integrated circuits across corners and over time, therefore having direct consequences on strategic partnerships with customers, long-term demand for semiconductor products and growth in market share. With more and more shrinking of technology, yield and reliability of integrated circuits are being increasingly challenged. Random, systematic and parametric yield-loss are becoming more and more pronounced with shrinking of technologies. The design community takes precautionary measures that can ensure that designs can sail safe even in the event of adverse process aberrations by following Design for Manufacturing (DFM) guidelines at the design stage. DFM also helps in ramping up the slope of the yield learning curve thus ensuring faster convergence towards volume manufacture and hence reduced time-to-market. In the domain of full custom layout development, DFM is all about taking margins when free, that is, to optimize the dimensions of the polygons if area permits. It would be a Herculean task to implement such layout optimizations manually, and in circuits with even the slightest complexity, it would be next to infeasible.

Need for Automation of Migration and DFM Correction: Herein emerges the need for a solution that can migrate the custom layouts from one technology to another in quick time and another solution that can do DFM optimization on a layout respecting all constraints including area constraints and relative criticalness of guidelines. These solutions may not provide a replacement for experties provide by custom designers but can certainly increase their productivity by a great extent by allowing them to focus on precision crafting their designswithout sacrificing creativity to repetitive manual tasks. More so if one solution can provide both the capabilities thus eliminating the need of multiple tool setups and database management.


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