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Proceedings Paper

Yield-driven multi-project reticle design and wafer dicing
Author(s): Andrew B. Kahng; Ion Mandoiu; Xu Xu; Alex Zelikovsky
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Paper Abstract

The aggressive scaling of VLSI feature size and the pervasive use of advanced reticle enhancement technologies has lead to dramatic increases in mask costs, pushing prototype and low volume production designs at the limit of economic feasibility. Multiple project wafers (MPW), or "shuttle" runs, provide an attractive solution for such low volume designs, by providing a mechanism to share the cost of mask tooling among up to tens of designs. However, MPW reticle design and wafer dicing introduce complexities not encountered in typical, single-project wafers. Recent works on wafer dicing adopt some assumptions to reduce the problem complexity. Although using one or more assumptions makes the problem solvable, the feasibility or performance of the solutions may be degraded. Also, the delay cost associated with schedule alignment was ignored in all previous works. In this paper we propose a general MPW flow including four main steps: (1) schedule-aware project partitioning (2) multi-project reticle floorplanning, (3) wafer shot-map definition, and (4) wafer dicing plan definition. Our project partitioner provides the best trade-off between the mask cost and delay cost. Our reticle floorplaner can automatically clone a design to better fit given production volumes. The round wafer shot-map definition step allows extracting functional dies from partially printed reticle images. Finally, our dicing planner allows multiple side-to-side dicing plans for different wafers and image rows/columns within a wafer. Experiments on industry testcases show that our methods outperform significantly not only previous methods in the literature, but also reticle floorplans manually designed by experienced engineers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 November 2005
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5992, 25th Annual BACUS Symposium on Photomask Technology, 599249 (8 November 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.632036
Show Author Affiliations
Andrew B. Kahng, Univ. of California/San Diego (United States)
Ion Mandoiu, Univ. of Connecticut (United States)
Xu Xu, Univ. of California/San Diego (United States)
Alex Zelikovsky, Georgia State Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5992:
25th Annual BACUS Symposium on Photomask Technology
J. Tracy Weed; Patrick M. Martin, Editor(s)

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