Robustness Analysis of Controllable-Polarity Silicon Nanowire Devices and Circuits

Substantial downscaling of the feature size in current CMOS technology has confronted digital designers with serious challenges including short channel effect and high amount of leakage power. To address these problems, emerging nano-devices, e.g., Silicon NanoWire FET (SiNWFET), is being introduced by the research community. These devices keep on pursuing Moore’s Law by improving channel electrostatic controllability, thereby reducing the Off –state leakage current. In addition to these improvements, recent developments introduced devices with enhanced capabilities, such as Controllable-Polarity (CP) SiNWFETs, which make them very interesting for compact logic cell and arithmetic circuits. At advanced technology nodes, the amount of physical controls, during the fabrication process of nanometer devices, cannot be precisely determined because of technology fluctuations. Consequently, the structural parameters of fabricated circuits can be significantly different from their nominal values. Moreover, giving an a-priori conclusion on the variability of advanced technologies for emerging nanoscale devices, is a difficult task and novel estimation methodologies are required. This is a necessity to guarantee the performance and the reliability of future integrated circuits. Statistical analysis of process variation requires a great amount of numerical data for nanoscale devices. This introduces a serious challenge for variability analysis of emerging technologies due to the lack of fast simulation models. One the one hand, the development of accurate compact models entails numerous tests and costly measurements on fabricated devices. On the other hand, Technology Computer Aided Design (TCAD) simulations, that can provide precise information about devices behavior, are too slow to timely generate large enough data set. In this research, a fast methodology for generating data set for variability analysis is introduced. This methodology combines the TCAD simulations with a learning algorithm to alleviate the time complexity of data set generation. Another formidable challenge for variability analysis of the large circuits is growing number of process variation sources. Utilizing parameterized models is becoming a necessity for chip design and verification. However, the high dimensionality of parameter space imposes a serious problem. Unfortunately, the available dimensionality reduction techniques cannot be employed for three main reasons of lack of accuracy, distribution dependency of the data points, and finally incompatibility with device and circuit simulators. We propose a novel technique of parameter selection for modeling process and performance variation. The proposed technique efficiently addresses the aforementioned problems. Appropriate testing, to capture manufacturing defects, plays an important role on the quality of integrated circuits. Compared to conventional CMOS, emerging nano-devices such as CP-SiNWFETs have different fabrication process steps. In this case, current fault models must be extended for defect detection. In this research, we extracted the possible fabrication defects, and then proposed a fault model for this technology. We also provided a couple of test methods for detecting the manufacturing defects in various types of CP-SiNWFET logic gates. Finally, we used the obtained fault model to build fault tolerant arithmetic circuits with a bunch of superior properties compared to their competitors.

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