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Analysis of Temporal and Spatial Temperature Gradients for IC Reliability

Lu, Zhijian; Huang, Wei; Ghosh, Shougata; Lach, John; Stan, Mircea; Skadron, Kevin
Lu, Zhijian
Huang, Wei
Ghosh, Shougata
Lach, John
Stan, Mircea
Skadron, Kevin
One of the most common causes of IC failure is interconnect electromigration (EM), which exhibits a rate that is exponentially dependent on temperature. As a result, EM rate is one of the major determinants of the maximum tolerable operating temperature for an IC and of resulting cooling costs. Previous EM models have assumed a uniform, typically worst-case, temperature. This paper presents a model that accounts for temporal and spatial variations in temperature, and shows that accounting for these variations can dramatically improve inter- connect lifetime prediction accuracy. We also show that the same modeling approach applies to temperature-related gate-oxide breakdown, another common cause of IC failure. We then propose that by modeling expected lifetime as a resource that is consumed over time at a rate dependent on temperature, substantial design margin can be reclaimed. For example, for a fixed target lifetime, intermittent higher operating temperatures and performance can be tolerated if compensated by lower temperatures at other times during the product�s lifetime. This approach offers higher overall performance and/or lower cooling costs than a standard design methodology that uses a worst-case temperature criterion for reliability analysis.
University of Virginia, Department of Computer Science, 2004
Published Date
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