By Debra Vogler, senior technical editor

Aki Fujimura, chairman & CEO of D2S, provides an update of the eBeam Initiative roadmap in a podcast interview held at the SPIE Advanced Lithography Conference (2/27-3/3/11, San Jose, CA). This year, the e-Beam Initiative is looking to obtain design for e-beam (DFEB) mask proof points with various suppliers and by 2012, it expects to have multiple suppliers validate it.

 Listen to Fujimura’s interview: Play Now or Download (iPod/iPhone users)

At the eBeam Initiative’s now annual luncheon at SPIE, Tom Faure, senior technical staff member, Photomask Engineering, Systems and Technology Group, Mask House, IBM, reported on the challenges associated with inverse lithography and its impact on shot count for mask writing at 20nm. Fujimura provides a recap of Faure’s points in his interview, and notes how model-based mask data prep (MB-MDP) can address the issues raised. The trade-off between mask cost/mask yield and wafer quality at 20nm is unacceptable, so practical write times for masks and excellent process margins for the wafers are a must, particularly for SoC fabs. Furthermore, double-patterning and restricted design rules are not going to make the increasing shot count go away.

Overlap shots  Assign dose for each shot  Circle (or any shape) shots
Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge Click to Enlarge

Figure. MB-MDP uses three unique techniques and delivers improved shot count, process window, and built-in MPC. SOURCE: D2S.

U.S. Patent 7,579,606; 7,747,997; 7,754,401; 7,759,026; 7,759,027, and other patents pending, D2S, Inc.

Fujimura noted that, because MB-MDP is simulation-based rather than geometry-based (conventional method), it is able to better manage write times. Overlapping shots, assignment of dose for each shot, and any shape shots (character projection), even curvilinear shape shots, are allowed by the technology (see figure).

Among the data Fujimura presented at the luncheon were results obtained from Dai-Nippon Printing Ltd., which showed that for a so-called "impossible mask," the conventional write time of 82hrs could be reduced to 20hrs using MB-MDP.

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