Experimental Validation of a Novel Methodology for Electromigration Assessment in On-Chip Power Grids

Valeriy Sukharev, Armen Kteyan, Farid N. Najm, Yong Hyeon Yi, Chris H. Kim, Jun Ho Choy, Sofya Torosyan, Yu Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A recently proposed theoretical methodology for the assessment of the electromigration (EM) induced IR-drop degradation in on-chip power/ground grids has been validated by means of measurements performed on real silicon. A voltage tapping technique was employed for the direct measurement of voltage variations at 162 nodes of the power net, stressed with 10 mA constant source current at an elevated temperature of 350 °C. A voltage drop between cathode and anode pads exceeding a specified threshold was considered as a failure. Times-to-failure (TTF) was measured on 19 packaged test grids and used for computing the mean TTF (MTTF). The EM-induced voltage degradation in this grid was also analyzed with an assessment methodology based on a simulation of stress evolution everywhere in the grid, resulting in a voiding in some of grid branches and corresponding resistance increase. A set of voiding compact models for different grid segments was developed and used in the simulations. The stochastic nature of the EM phenomenon was captured by introducing random distributions of atomic diffusivities and critical stresses across the grid and iterating them with Monte Carlo loops. A good fit between the measured voltage evolution kinetics at different grid nodes and that predicted by simulation, and the good agreement between measured and simulated failure distributions can be considered as the ever first experimental validation of this EM assessment methodology for on-chip power/ground (p/g) grids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4837-4850
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022

Bibliographical note

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  • Diffusivity
  • electromigration (EM)
  • failure
  • grain boundary (GB)
  • mean-time-to-failure (MTTF)
  • p/g grid
  • partial differential equation (PDE)
  • stress
  • test chip
  • voiding


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