Self-Heating Aware Design of ICs in Deep Sub-Micron FDSOI and Bulk Technologies

Bulk CMOS technologies left the semiconductor market to the novel device geometries such as FDSOI and FinFET below 30 nm, mainly due to their insufficient electrical characteristics arising from different physical limitations. These innovative solutions enabled the ongoing device scaling to continue. However, the threshold voltage and the power supply values did not shrink with the device sizes, which caused an excessive amount of heat generation in very small dimensions. With the high thermal resistivity materials used in FDSOI and FinFET, the generated heat cannot leave the device easily, which is not the case in bulk. With all of these, modern geometries brought a major problem, which is the self-heating. Due to self-heating effects (SHE), the temperature of a device rises significantly compared to its surroundings. Having very large local temperature brings important reliability issues. Moreover, the electrical behaviour of a device also changes dramatically when its temperature is very large. These facts bring the need of considering SHE and the temperature of each device separately. Nevertheless, in many of today's CAD tools, a single global temperature is applied to all of the devices. Even if some advanced simulation options are used, estimating the temperature of a device is not a simple task as it depends on many parameters. The focus of this thesis is to show the significance of SHE in the design of ICs and provide self-heating aware design guidelines. In order to achieve this, different circuit implementations are studied by considering the SHE. The study consists of two main parts, which are the reliability of the high-speed digital circuits and the performance of analog blocks where noise is critical. Moreover, detailed device-level electro-thermal simulations are performed to explain the self-heating phenomena more in detail and to perform a comparison between bulk and FDSOI. The digital part of the self-heating study is performed on two very high-speed full-custom 64-bit Kogge-Stone adders in 40 nm and 28 nm technologies. Thermal simulations are performed on these blocks to compare SHE in bulk and FDSOI geometries. The comparison of two implementations also provides the increasing significance of SHE with scaling. Extensive heating analyses are performed to find the most critical devices that are the primary heat generators. Design guidelines and solutions are proposed to flatten the temperature profiles in precharged and static logic implementations and to decrease the probability of electromigration. The analog study of the work focuses on the thermal noise performance of LNAs and SHE on the flicker noise. Since thermal noise of a device linearly depends on the temperature, it is directly affected by SHE. To show the amount of SHE on the noise figure, three common gate cascode LNAs operating at 2 GHz with different device lengths are implemented in 28 nm FDSOI. The measurements show that the self-heating effects are clearly observed on the noise figure and the performance of the blocks deviate importantly from the simulations. Moreover, the self-heating effects are significantly more in short channel devices due to their large heat density. Similar experiments are also performed on different test structures in FDSOI at lower frequencies to observe SHE on flicker noise. The experiments show that flicker noise degrades at larger temperatures and more in short channel implementations.

Leblebici, Yusuf
Toifl, Thomas
Lausanne, EPFL

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 Record created 2018-06-14, last modified 2020-04-20

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