Reducing Leakage-Induced Field Returns
Leakage is currently one of the many challenges that semiconductor companies face as they migrate to the 90 nm and 65 nm technology nodes. There are several leakage categories that need to be addressed. Studies show the alarming growth of sub-threshold and gate-oxide leakages with shrinking feature dimensions. At these smaller geometries, leakage has significant system and component/part level ramifications. At the system level one has to contend with power consumption, heat dissipation and battery life issues (mobile applications). At the component level, leakage strains the power rails and is responsible for a fair portion of thermal issues. These effects in turn are responsible for field returns associated with parts that have performance issues or those that have experienced field burn-up. In the case of field returns that have performance issues, these parts usually end up being categorized as “no problem found” because the semiconductor company often is unable to duplicate the issue and the original suite of production tests continues to show that the part is good.
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