Reliability and Characterization Challenges

Semiconductor reliability is at a crossroads. In the past, reliability meant discovering, characterizing and modeling failure mechanisms and determining their impact on the reliability of the circuit. Today, reliability can involve tradeoffs between performance and reliability, assessing the impact of new materials, dealing with limited margins, etc. Analysis and experimentation must now account not only for material interactions on the die, but also package interactions with the die. This requires knowledge of subjects like: IC processing, new materials and materials science, chemistry, and customer expectations. While reliability levels are at an all-time high level in the industry, rapid changes may quickly cause reliability to deteriorate. Your company needs competent engineers and scientists to help solve these problems. Reliability and Characterization Challenges for Advanced ICs is a 1-day course that offers detailed instruction on a variety of subjects pertaining to semiconductor reliability and characterization. This course is designed for every manager, engineer, and technician who develops new processes, must understand Front End of the Line integration, packaging interactions with the die, and reliability conditions. Engineers involved in reliability, product engineering, wafer manufacturing, assembly, using semiconductor components, or supplying tools to the industry can all benefit from this course.

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Refund Policy

If a course is canceled, refunds are limited to course registration fees. Registration within 21 days of the course is subject to $100 surcharge.

Course Objectives

  1. The seminar will provide participants with an in-depth understanding of the transistors, interconnect and dielectric materials used in today's advanced components.
  2. Participants will be able to understand the properties of materials and how they affect the IC.
  3. The seminar will identify the major failure mechanisms, explain how they are observed, how they are modeled, and how they are eliminated.
  4. Participants will be able to identify current reliability issues, how they impact the materials choices for the IC, and how they impact the overall reliability of the IC.

Course Outline

Day 1

  1. Introduction
    1. Scaling and Its Impact on Reliability
  2. Time Dependent Dielectric Breakdown
    1. Energy, Current, Voltage, Electric Field Dependencies
    2. Models
    3. Dealing with Soft Breakdown
    4. Dealing with Hi-K Materials
    5. Statistical Implications and Circuit Level Modeling
  3. Hot Carrier Effects
    1. Physical Behavior
    2. Models for Low, Medium, and High Gate Voltage
    3. P-channel and N-channel Effects
    4. Implications at the Circuit Level
  4. Negative Bias Temperature Instability
    1. Mechanism
    2. Fast Measurement Techniques
    3. Reaction-Diffusion Model
    4. New Thinking on Models
    5. Circuit Level Modeling and Behavior
  5. Positive Bias Temperature Instability and Hi-K
    1. Hi-K Materials Behavior
    2. Fast Measurement Techniques
    3. PBTI Model
    4. Circuit Level Modeling and Behavior
  6. Low-κ Materials
    1. What is K?
    2. Low-κ (organic vs inorganic)
    3. Porosity
    4. Barrier layers (SiN; SiC)
    5. Electrical properties
    6. Mechanical properties
    7. Thermal properties
    8. Thermal and Chemical stability
  7. Integration of Cu with Low-κ Materials
    1. Integration options
    2. Effective K
    3. Patterning
    4. Cleans
    5. Metal deposition
    6. CMP
    7. Packaging
  8. Reliability of Cu Interconnects in Low-k Materials
    1. Electromigration
    2. Stress migration
    3. Oxidation
    4. TDDB
    5. Package reliability
    6. Intrinsic vs extrinsic fails
  9. Future Reliability Challenges

Instructor Profile

Christopher Henderson, President of Semitracks

Christopher Henderson

Christopher Henderson received his B.S. in Physics from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and his M.S.E.E. from the University of New Mexico. Chris is the President and one of the founders of Semitracks Inc., a United States-based company that provides education and semiconductor training to the electronics industry.

From 1988 to 2004, Chris worked at Sandia National Laboratories, where he was a Principal Member of Technical Staff in the Failure Analysis Department and Microsystems Partnerships Department. His job responsibilities have included failure and yield analysis of components fabricated at Sandia’s Microelectronics Development Laboratory, research into the electrical behavior of defects, and consulting on microelectronics issues for the DoD. He has published over 20 papers at various conferences in semiconductor processing, reliability, failure analysis, and test. He has received two R&D 100 awards and two best paper awards. Prior to working at Sandia, Chris worked for Honeywell, BF Goodrich Aerospace, and Intel. Chris is a member of IEEE and EDFAS (the Electron Device Failure Analysis Society).

At Semitracks, Chris teaches courses on failure and yield analysis, semiconductor reliability, and other aspects of semiconductor technology.