Electromigration modeling and layout optimization for advanced VLSI
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Electromigration (EM) is a critical problem for interconnect reliability in advanced VLSI design. Because EM is a strong function of current density, a smaller cross-sectional area of interconnects can degrade the EM-related lifetime of IC, which is expected to become more severe in future technology nodes. Moreover, as EM is governed by various factors such as temperature, material property, geometrical shape, and mechanical stress, different interconnect structures can have distinct EM issues and solutions to mitigate them. For example, one of the most prominent technologies, die stacking technology of three-dimensional (3D) ICs, can have different EM problems from that of planer ICs, due to their unique interconnects such as through-silicon vias (TSVs). This dissertation investigates EM in various interconnect structures, and applies the EM models to optimize IC layout. First, modeling of EM is developed for chip-level interconnects, such as wires, local vias, TSVs, and multi-scale vias (MSVs). Based on the models, fast and accurate EM-prediction methods are proposed for the chip-level designs. After that, by utilizing the EM-prediction methods, the layout optimization methods are suggested, such as EM-aware routing for 3D ICs and EM-aware redundant via insertion for the future technology nodes in VLSI. Experimental results show that the proposed EM modeling approaches enable fast and accurate EM evaluation for chip design, and the EM-aware layout optimization methods improve EM-robustness of advanced VLSI designs.