In semiconductor manufacturing, a process corner is an example of a design-of-experiments (DoE) technique that refers to a variation of fabrication parameters used in applying an integrated circuit design to a semiconductor wafer. Process corners represent the extremes of these parameter variations within which a circuit that has been etched onto the wafer must function correctly. A circuit running on devices fabricated at these process corners may run slower or faster than specified and at lower or higher temperatures and voltages, but if the circuit does not function at all at any of these process extremes the design is considered to have inadequate design margin.
In order to verify the robustness of an integrated circuit design, semiconductor manufacturers will fabricate corner lots, which are groups of wafers that have had process parameters adjusted according to these extremes, and will then test the devices made from these special wafers at varying increments of environmental conditions, such as voltage, clock frequency, and temperature, applied in combination (two or sometimes all three together) in a process called characterization. The results of these tests are plotted using a graphing technique known as a shmoo plot that indicates clearly the boundary limit beyond which a device begins to fail for a given combination of these environmental conditions.
Corner-lot analysis is most effective in digital electronics because of the direct effect of process variations on the speed of transistor switching during transitions from one logic state to another, which is not relevant for analog circuits, such as amplifiers.
... supply SPICE or BSIM simulation models for all (or, at the least, TT, FS, and SF) process corners, which enables circuit designers to detect corner skew effects before the design is laid out ...
... Process corners provide digital designers the ability to simulate the circuit while accounting for variations in the technology process ...
Famous quotes containing the words corners and/or process:
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