Gate leakage impact on full open defects in interconnect lines
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An Interconnect full open defect breaks the connection between the driver and the gate terminals of downstream transistors, generating a floating line. The behavior of floating lines is known to depend on several factors, namely parasitic capacitances to neighboring structures, transistor capacitances of downstream gate(s) and trapped charges. For nanometer CMOS technologies, the reduction of oxide thickness leads to a significant increase in gate tunneling leakage. This new phenomenon influences the behavior of circuits with interconnect full open defects. Floating lines can no longer be considered electrically isolated and are subjected to transient evolutions, reaching a steady state determined by the technology, downstream interconnect and gate(s) topology. The occurrence of such defects and the impact of gate tunneling leakage are expected to increase in the future. In this work, interconnect full open defects affecting nanometer CMOS technologies are analyzed and the defective logic response of downstream gates after reaching the steady state is predicted. Experimental evidence of this behavior is presented for circuits belonging to a 180 nm and a 65 nm CMOS technologies. Technology trends show that the impact of gate leakage currents is expected to increase in future technologies.