PhD Thesis

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« Alternative solution to improve the production test of optical sensors in CMOS technology ».

Author: R. Fei
Advisor: S. Mir
Co-advisor: J. Moreau
thesis reviewer(s): M. Renovell, A. Bounceur,
thesis examinator(s): G. Sicard, I. O'Connor,
These de Doctorat Université de Grenoble
Speciality: Micro et Nano Electronique
Defense: October 13 2015
ISBN: 978-2-11-129202-4


Current production testing of CMOS imager sensors is mainly based on capturing images and detecting failures by image processing with special algorithms. The fault coverage of this costly optical test is not sufficient given the quality requirements. Studies on devices produced at large volume have shown that Horizontal Fixed Pattern Noise (HFPN) is one of the common image failures encountered on products that present fault coverage problems, and this is the main cause of customer returns for many products. A detailed analysis of failed devices has demonstrated that HFPN failures arise from changes of electronic circuit topology in pixel addressing decoders or the metal lines required for pixel powering and control. These changes are usually due to the presence of spot defects, causing some pixels in a row to operate incorrectly, leading to an HFPN failure. Moreover, defects resulting in partially degraded metal lines may not induce image failure in limited industrial test conditions, passing the optical tests. Later, these defects may produce an image failure in the field, either because the capture conditions would be more stringent, or because the defects would evolve into catastrophic faults due to electromigration. In this paper, we have first enhanced the HFPN detection algorithm in order to improve the fault coverage of the optical test. Next, a built-in self-test structure is presented for the on-chip detection of catastrophic and non-catastrophic defects in the pixel power and control lines.

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