By Calibre Staff
Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is a big worry for integrated circuit (IC) designers, for good reason. A bit of static from any one of dozens of sources can destroy a chip in a flash…literally. To protect against this type of damage or failure, designers build in ESD protection circuits that are designed to take that excessive current and safely drain it off, leaving the main circuitry safe and secure. Sounds pretty reasonable, right? And verifying that you’ve got the right protection circuit in place and that it’s properly designed is just a matter of running your ESD reliability checks as part of your design verification flow.
But…that’s for your standard 2D IC. All that gets turned up to the max when you’re looking at a 2.5D or 3D IC. Here’s just a quick list of the ESD issues that keep 2.5/3D IC designers up at night:
- Differentiating between ESD protection for external vs. internal IOs
- Correctly handling charged device model (CDM) and human body model (HBM) constraints for die-to-die connections
- Determining the minimum ESD protection needed to avoid failure of the final 2.5/3D IC product
- Accounting for different technology nodes/foundries for the dies and correctly handling all the interfaces
- Determining how you can source from multiple vendors and still ensure consistent ESD protection
- Dealing with different ESD design methodologies
Now, would we be telling you all this if we didn’t have a solution? Of course not! You can implement a systematic automated methodology to verify ESD robustness for 2.5/3D ICs. We know, because we’ve done it. And we’re here to help you do it, too.
Oh, but maybe you’d rather have an expert explain it, and show you diagrams and examples? (Hint: the answer is YES). If so, check out this on-demand webinar from Dina Medhat. Dina has done extensive research in this problem space, and has published and presented in numerous industry events and publications. As one of our Calibre Design Solutions reliability verification experts, Dina is well-versed in both the challenges of 2.5/3D IC ESD verification and the solutions coming from the EDA industry. 2.5/3D ICs are one way to solve the “more than Moore” challenge, but only if you can trust them to keep operating reliably and consistently. Ensuring adequate and correct ESD protection is an essential component of their market success.