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Durham e-Theses
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Effect of wearout processes on the critical timing parameters and reliability of CMOS bistable circuits

Das, A.G. Man Mohan (1997) Effect of wearout processes on the critical timing parameters and reliability of CMOS bistable circuits. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The objective of the research presented in this thesis was to investigate the effects of wearout processes on the performance and reliability of CMOS bistable circuits. The main wearout process affecting reliability of submicron MOS devices was identified as hot-carrier stress (and the resulting degradation in circuit performance). The effect of hot-carrier degradation on the resolving time leading to metastability of the bistable circuits also have been investigated. Hot-carrier degradation was identified as a major reliability concern for CMOS bistable circuits designed using submicron technologies. The major hot-carrier effects are the impact ionisation of hot- carriers in the channel of a MOS device and the resulting substrate current and gate current generation. The substrate current has been used as the monitor for the hot-carrier stress and have developed a substrate current model based on existing models that have been extended to incorporate additional effects for submicron devices. The optimisation of the substrate current model led to the development of degradation and life-time models. These are presented in the thesis. A number of bistable circuits designed using 0.7 micron CMOS technology design rules were selected for the substrate current model analysis. The circuits were simulated using a set of optimised SPICE model parameters and the stress factors on each device was evaluated using the substrate current model implemented as a post processor to the SPICE simulation. Model parameters for each device in the bistable were degraded according to the stress experienced and simulated again to determine the degradation in characteristic timing parameters for a predetermined stress period. A comparative study of the effect of degradation on characteristic timing parameters for a number of latch circuits was carried out. The life-times of the bistables were determined using the life-time model. The bistable circuits were found to enter a metastable state under critical timing conditions. The effect of hot-carrier stress induced degradation on the metastable state operation of the bistables were analysed. Based on the analysis of the hot-carrier degradation effects on the latch circuits, techniques are suggested to reduce hot-carrier stress and to improve circuit life-time. Modifications for improving hot- carrier reliability were incorporated into all the bistable circuits which were re-simulated to determine the improvement in life-time and reliability of the circuits under hot-carrier stress. The improved circuits were degraded based on the new stress factors and the degradation effects on the critical timing parameters evaluated and these were compared with those before the modifications. The improvements in the life-time and the reliability of the selected bistable circuits were quantified. It has been demonstrated that the hot-carrier reliability for all the selected bistable circuits can be improved by design techniques to reduce the stress on identified critically stressed devices.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1997
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Sep 2012 15:52

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