Check out this blog article by Mitch Heins on SemiWiki entitled Self-Monitoring SoCs – An Idea Coming of Age which discusses how embedded in-chip monitoring is gaining momentum in advanced node SoC design.
In a former life I was the GM of a business where we built specialized structures used for semiconductor process bring-up, characterization and monitoring. These monitoring structures were placed in wafer scribe-lines and were used to monitor key parameters during wafer processing. The structures provided feedback to automated process control (APC) loops that dynamically tuned the manufacturing equipment to keep the semiconductor process within specific tolerances.
Later, the industry played with the idea of using algorithms to identify key transistors of a design that could be monitored by APC loops to center the design for the best performing chip. Standard product chip companies routinely did this, but the idea never caught on in the COT / pure play foundry space due to fears that SoC ……
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