Dummy fill has been demonstrated to be an effective technique to reduce process variation and improve manufacturability for advanced integrated circuit (IC) designs. However, the computation load, often several days for a realistic IC design, is a significant portion of the cycle time for delivering first silicon on new or modified designs. In this paper, we propose a novel design flow and dummy-fill algorithm based on Boolean operations, which greatly improves computational efficiency and pattern density uniformity, and enables dummy generation to be combined with the mask-preparation Boolean operations performed by the mask-fabrication facility. Mask data preparation can be performed in parallel with dummy generation and post-dummy simulation checks at the design house, resulting in improved first-silicon cycle time. Experimental results demonstrate these benefits in the context of an advanced foundry process technology.
- Boolean operation
- dummy fill