The continuous scaling needed for better performance and higher density has introduced some new challenges to the back end of line (BEOL) in terms of layout and design. Reductions in metal line width, spacing, and thickness require major changes in both process and design environments. Advanced deep-submicron layout design rules (DRs) should now consider many new proximity effects and reliability concerns due to high electrical fields and currents, planarization-related coverage effects, etc. It is, therefore, necessary to redefine many of the common DRs. For example, space rules now have a complex definition, including both line width and parallel length. In addition, new rules have been introduced to represent the challenges of reliability such as stress-induced voids, time-dependent dielectric breakdowns of intermetal dielectrics, dependency on misalignment, sensitivity to double patterning, etc. This review describes a set of copper (Cu) BEOL layout design rules, as used in technologies featuring lengths ranging from 0.15 μm to 20 nm. The verification of layout rules and sensitivity issues related to them are presented. Reliability-related aspects of some rules, like space, width, and via density, are also discussed with additional design-for-manufacturing layout recommendations.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited