Nikon, Synopsys to develop sub-45nm litho models

September 20, 2006 – Nikon Corp. and Synopsys Inc. are collaborating to develop “manufacturing-aware” optical proximity correction (OPC) and resolution enhancement technology (RET) lithography simulation models for 45nm-and below semiconductor process technologies.

Early work will focus on developing and optimizing litho simulations models that can intelligently capture Nikon’s litho tool signatures. Future work will focus on developing and deploying advanced DFM manufacturing in-fab solutions for Nikon systems.

To achieve nanometer level critical dimension (CD) control with fast turnaround time, models must be characterized beyond traditional input parameters such as lithography dose, defocus, light source type and lens parameters, the companies said, in a statement. New simulation and modeling inputs must include immersion effects, polarization impacts, global and local flare, wave front aberrations, and other factors that may impact CD performance.

“We believe the accuracy of OPC models can be significantly improved and mask qualification time reduced, by incorporating our unique lithography tool characteristics into the EDA software,” stated Toshikazu Umatate, executive officer, at Nikon’s Precision Equipment Co. “By partnering with leading-edge EDA companies like Synopsys we can provide enhanced imaging performance for our customers.”

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