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SSPD_Chapter 7_part 4_CMOS lay-out design rules.

Module by: Bijay_Kumar Sharma. E-mail the author

Summary: SSPD_Chapter 7_Part 4 gives the importance of choosing the design rules for Minimum width, Minimum spacing, Surround and Extension.

SSPD_Chapter 7_part 4_CMOS lay-out design rules.

7.4.1. Introduction to VLSI Design.

Digital VLSI systems are mainly implemented by CMOS family of Logic in Silicon Wafer. Only for very high speed niche applications we go for ECL family of Logic. In this Chapter 7, we are mainly concerned with CMOS VLSI circuits. Figure 7.4.1 gives the flow chart of design and implementation of a CMOS Digital Systems.

Figure 1
Figure 1 (Picture 2.png)

7.4.2. Layout Design Rules.

As seen in Figure 7.4.1. from the designers layout the masks will be prepared and these masks will be translated into IC circuits in the foundry. These masks will be prepared within certain tolerances and with certain minimum resolutions. Mask preparation is the crucial step in IC technology and inorder that ICs are fabricated with high yield rate the tolerances and rsolutions must be clearly defined and hence layout design rules have been given.

Minimum wire widths are specified to avoid breaks. Minimum wire spacings are specified to avoid shorts. Overlaps are specified to ensure that overlap is complete. The design rules are expressed in terms of microns. The design rules are required so that a certain minimum resolution/tolerance of masks are permissible.

The Generation of the Fabrication Process technology is specified by the minimum feature size. Minimum feature size refers to channel length. As the Generation of the Fabrication Process advances so does the packing density and level of integration advances as shown in Table 7.4.1.

Table 7.4.1. Different Generations of Technology and their respective Packing Densities in Microprocessor Chips.

Table 1
Year Chip L Transistors per cm square
1971 4004 10µm 2.3K
1974 8080 6µm 6.0K
1976 8088 3µm 29K
1982 80286 1.5µm 134K
1985 80386 1.5µm 275K
1989 80486 0.8µm 1.2M
1993 Pentium 0.8µm 3.1M
1995 Pentium Pro 0.6µm 15.5M
1999 Mobile PII 0.25µm 27.4M
2000 Pentium 4 0.18µm 42M
2002 Pentium 4(N) 0.13µm 55M

There are different design rules such as: Mead-Conway Design Rules, CUMF n-MOS Design Rules and Lambda based Design Rules. In this lecture we will concentrate on Lambda Based Design Rules.

1.Design rules are a set of geometrical specifications that dictate the design of the layout masks.

2.A design rule set provides numerical values:

  • For minimum dimensions
  • For minimum line spacings

3.Design rules must be followed to insure functional structures on the fabricated chip.

4.Design rules change with technological advances (

Design rules are classified as :Minimum width, Minimum spacing, Surround and Extension.

The following physical limitations compel us to specify the design rules:

  1. Line width limitation of an imaging system:
    • The reticle shadow projected on the photoresist does not have sharp edges due to optical diffraction.
  2. Etching process problem:
    • Undercutting of the resist due to lateral etching decreases the resolution.

Limits on N+ spacing:

If depletion regions of adjacent pn junctions touch, then

  • The current blocking characteristics are altered and
  • Current can flow between the two.
Figure 2
Figure 2 (Picture 7.png)

Figure 7.4.2. The depletion region surrounding N+ regions can merge hence a definite spacing has to be kept.

Electrical capacitive coupling can occur between closely spaced conducting lines. This leads to a problem called crosstalk

  • A portion of the electrical energy is coupled to another causing noise.
  • This is a major problem in high-density design.

Hence closely spaced metal lines are kept well separated.

Certain electrical rules are followed such as the allowed width of a metal interconnect line:

  • To avoid electromigration effects
  • The design rule set will stipulate the maximum current flow level permitted

Figure 3
Figure 3 (Picture 8.png)

Figure 7.4.3. Three Dimensional Perspective View of NMOS fabricated in P-substrate.

Why do we use design rules?

The design rules provide the interface between designer and process engineer.

The design rules also provide the guidelines for constructing process masks.

Minimum length or width of a feature on a layer is 2lambda where lambda is half channel length. This is to allow for contraction of the feature.

Minimum separation of features on a layer is 2lambda.This is to ensure adequate continuity of the intervening materials.

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