One of the challenges that technology computer-aided design must meet currently is the analysis of the performance of groups of components, interconnects, and, generally speaking, large parts of the IC. This enables predictions that the simulation of single components cannot achieve. In this paper, we focus on the simulation of backend processes, interconnect capacitances, and time delays. The simulation flows start from the blank wafer surface and result in device information for the circuit designer usable from within SPICE. In order to join topography and backend simulations, deposition, etching, and chemical mechanical planarization processes in the various metal lines are used to build up the backend stack, starting from the flat wafer surface. Depending on metal combination, line-to-line space, and line width, thousands of simulations are required whose results are stored in a database. Finally, we present simulation results for the backend of a 100-nm process, where the influence of void formation between metal lines profoundly impacts the performance of the whole interconnect stack, consisting of aluminum metal lines, and titanium nitride local interconnects. Scanning electron microscope images of test structures are compared to topography simulations, and very good agreement is found. Moreover, charge-based capacitance measurements were carried out to validate the capacitance extraction, and it was found that the error is smaller than four percent. These simulations assist the consistent fabrication of voids, which is economically advantageous compared to low-κ materials, which suffer from integration problems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering