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An Integrated approach to Process Design Kit (PDK) Verification

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000234758D
Publication Date: 2014-Feb-03
Document File: 5 page(s) / 125K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a system for creating, executing and reporting Integrated Process Design Kit (IPDK) tests. Methods of test that currently are in vogue, as per prior art, are strong on unit-level Regression Tests (RT) which do not sufficiently cover electrical interaction between Process Design Kit (PDK) components. We have implemented a technology-independent, reference document based, integrated test flow that leverages existing auto-routing methods to effortlessly scale across technologies and devices.

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An Integrated approach to Process Design Kit (PDK) Verification

This article speaks to a methodology of carrying out electrical tests covering interaction between different components of the PDK, viz., Instance Parameter List (IPL) to Parameterized Cells (P-CELLs) or Device Models to LVS, or Schematic Models to Parasitic Extracted (PEX) netlists. The main motivation to come up with this methodology was the observation that most Foundry-Change Requests (FCRs) related to communication between PDK components (see Fig


1) arose from a lack of electrical checks covering these interactions.

Fig 1: Typical PDK components and their interaction

The IPDK test flow covers electrical interaction between three major components of the PDK - device models, device P-CELLS and Physical Verification (PV) decks - Layout Versus Schematic (LVS) and PEX. The testing flow also exercises the PDK components mentioned above using a methodology that customers follow, testing the PDK "as the customer sees it". The methodology has also been designed to work across different technologies and devices which makes it crucial from a Foundry-business perspective due to the diverse nature of the clients supported. The diagram below (Fig 2) illustrates the process flow for the IPDK testing.

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Fig 2: IPDK test process flow and results.

The proposed flow has the following unique features:

A. Use a component of the PDK to generate exhaustive test cases to test another component/ combination of components -

a. IPL through P-CELL to PEX-Extracted Netlist Vs Schematic Netlist Simulation Check


b. IPL to P-CELL check


c. IPL through P-CELL to LVS check

B. The testcase generation methodology utilizes version-controlled design documentation and PDK components to generate testcases that are error-free, robust and exhaustive.

C. Issues with legacy P-CELLs (eg. Pin names being non-standard) by generating testcases using version-controlled documentation and auto-routing processes currently available.

Additionally, though it i...