ASML’s Brion combines OPC techniques for faster 2Xnm lithography mask tapeout

February 13, 2012 — Brion Technologies, a division of ASML, debuted Tachyon Flexible Mask Optimization (Tachyon FMO), part of ASML’s Holistic Lithography portfolio, for advanced-node semiconductor manufacturers. It enables use of multiple Optical Proximity Correction (OPC) techniques in a single mask tapeout for 2Xnm lithography processes.

With Tachyon FMO, chip makers can use advanced and computationally intensive OPC in localized areas for maximum benefit. This can help reduce tapeout cycle time by two-thirds from competitive technologies, ASML reports.

Tachyon FMO uses high-quality boundary healing, allowing different parts of a design to use different correction techniques without inducing hotspots in the boundary regions. Brion’s technology detects and manipulates hotspots, cleanly reinserting corrected hotspots into the full chip design without introducing new defects due to proximity effects of neighboring patterns.

Tachyon FMO enables a number of flexible application modes such as repair, insertion of known-good libraries, efficient correction of mask revisions, and applying advanced OPC techniques in highly localized areas where such techniques provide real benefit.

The product is aimed at 2Xnm designs that require more advanced scanner capabilities like ASML’s FlexRay illuminator and FlexWave customized wavefronts, and sophisticated OPC techniques. Computationally intensive techniques such as model based sub-resolution assist features (MB-SRAF) and 3D mask modeling (M3D) are used selectively for lower costs and faster output.

Also read: Lithography perspective for the 22nm half-pitch by SEMATECH and Enabling lithography for the 22nm node by Dow Electronic Materials

Tachyon FMO has been demonstrated on real customer cases to reduce tapeout cycle time by over 65% and 15-20% reduction in mask complexity. STMicroelectronics (ST) has been evaluating Tachyon FMO for its 2Xnm node development, focusing on the hotspot repair application. ST has demonstrated defect reductions for the contact layer through the application of Tachyon MB-SRAF and FMO, ensuring no new defects were introduced by the repair method.

Brion Technologies is a division of ASML providing computational lithography for integrated circuits (IC). ASML makes lithography systems for the semiconductor industry. ASML is traded on Euronext Amsterdam and NASDAQ under the symbol ASML. For more information: www.brion.com and www.asml.com.

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