Date of Award

11-2009

Degree Name

MS in Electrical Engineering

Department

Electrical Engineering

Advisor

John Oliver

Abstract

With the constant scaling of semiconductor devices, reliability of these devices is a huge concern. One of the biggest reliability issues is a phenomenon known as electromigration (EM) [1] [2]. Electromigration is the transport of material caused by the gradual movement of the ions in a conductor due to the momentum transfer between conducting electrons and diffusing metal atoms [27]. The damage induced by electromigration appears as the formation of voids and hillocks, resulting in electrical discontinuity.

Based on previous Electromigration research [15], I have created a tool chain that identifies where electromigration is likely to occur in large-scale integrated circuits. Using this tool chain, it is possible to identify the mean-time to failure (MTTF) of several common and high priority circuits such as complex adders and memories. Furthermore, this tool chain allows designers to isolate weak-points in these circuits to improve the overall MTTF of the circuit. The result is that with a few simple changes, circuits can be redesigned to increase the MTTF, at minimal cost to the system.

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