Process monitors, voltage monitors and temperature sensors are now essential for maintaining the health of the modern ASIC. In this blog post we look at the challenges and problems that a complete PVT monitoring solution can help overcome. Most engineers understand what PVT monitors are and why they are important but exactly what problems do they solve and how do they make chip design a more deterministic process?

Most of the challenges come about through the scaling of devices towards 28nm, FinFET and below. With gate density increasing designers are now regularly facing issues associated with overheating, increased voltage supplies and problems with noise. We are also seeing a greater process variability across a die of a chip.

Process Challenges

The process variability of advanced node CMOS technologies has become a significant factor to the speed power and performance of SoC devices.

  • Via resistance increasing
  • Interconnect track lengths increasing
  • Increasing metal resistance variability
  • Sensitivities to VT variation
  • Aging: Gm degradation and Vt shift with aging

Voltage Challenges

Voltage Supplies on advanced node CMOS devices are subject to electrical noise, supply perturbations, transient events and glitches.

  • Core voltage (headroom) reduction from 65nm to FinFET
  • Variation on core supply becoming more significant for gate speed
  • Increased track/via resistance & circuit complexity
  • IR Drops are relatively higher with lower core supply

Temperature Challenges

In-Chip thermal monitoring and management of advanced node designs is a critical consideration for SoC developers.

  • Leakage & Thermal runaway
  • Localised heating
  • Electro Migration (EM)
  • Thermal Management

What Solutions do PVT Monitors provide?

Our high accuracy sensors enable High Performance (DVFS/AVS) and increased device reliability. The IP is highly featured with standard Interfacing and offers high testability (DFT)

We offer Comprehensive Support, Easy Integration, Production Test Analysis. Our monitors enable enhanced chip lifetime, Individual Chip Optimisation, Failure Prediction and In-Field Monitoring

Today’s technologies rely on PVT monitors to ensure that they are operating not only efficiently but safely with no nasty surprises. Moortec IP provides solutions for Mobile, Telecommunications, Datacentre & Enterprise, Consumer, DTV and IOT.

Moortec Semiconductor, established in 2005, provide high quality analog and mixed-signal Intellectual Property (IP) solutions world-wide specialising in die monitoring. Having a track record of delivery to tier-1 semiconductor and product companies, Moortec provide a quick and efficient path to market for customer products and innovations. For more information, please visit www.moortec.com.

Contact: Ramsay Allen, +44 1752 875133, ramsay.allen@moortec.com

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