[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With technology scaling down to 90nm and below, many yield-driven design and optimization methodologies have been proposed to cope with the prominent process variation and to increase the yield. A critical issue that affects the efficiency of those methods is to estimate the yield when given design parameters under variations. Existing methods either use Monte Carlo method in performance domain where thousands of simulations are required, or use local search in parameter domain where a number of simulations are required to characterize the point on the yield boundary defined by performance constraints. To improve efficiency, in this paper we propose QuickYield, a yield surface boundary determination by surface-point finding and global-search. Experiments on a number of different circuits show that for the same accuracy, QuickYield is up to 519X faster compared with the Monte Carlo approach, and up to 4.7X faster compared with YENSS, the fastest approach reported in literature.