On Regularity and Integrated DFM Metrics
Paper in proceedings, 2012
Transistor geometries are well into the nanometer regime, keeping with Moore's Law. With this scaling in geometry, problems not significant in the larger geometries have come to the fore. These problems, collectively termed variability, stem from second-order effects due to the small geometries themselves and engineering limitations in creating the small geometries. The engineering obstacles have a few solutions which are yet to be widely adopted due to cost limitations in deploying them. Addressing and mitigating variability due to second-order effects comes largely under the purview of device engineers and to a smaller extent, design practices. Passive layout measures that ease these manufacturing limitations by regularizing the different layout pitches have been explored in the past. However, the question of the best design practice to combat systematic variations is still open. In this work we explore considerations for the regular layout of the exclusive-OR gate, the half-adder and full-adder cells implemented with varying degrees of regularity. Tradeoffs like complete interconnect unidirectionality, and the inevitable introduction of vias are qualitatively analyzed and some factors affecting the analysis are presented. Finally, results from the Calibre Critical Feature Analysis (CFA) of the cells are used to evaluate the qualitative analysis.