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SMO solution improves 2D image fidelity

Posted: 14 Oct 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:source mask optimisation  source illumination  22 nanometers  IC manufacturing 

Cadence Design Systems Inc. has released a software that optimises custom lithographic source illumination, a new capability in its integrated source mask optimisation (SMO) technology family for IC manufacturing at 22 nanometers and beyond. Cadence claims that its optimised custom litho source illumination delivers process window and improved two-dimensional image fidelity required for 22-nanometer semiconductor manufacturing.

Cadence collaborated with Tessera Technologies Inc. to incorporate the custom source illumination manufacturing awareness into its SMO software technology family. The new capability is integrated into the Cadence resolution enhancement technology (RET) flow for both single- and double-patterning lithography. The company says it delivers ease of use and automation to accelerate both technology development and production ramps.

The collaboration between Cadence and Tessera focuses on Tessera's DigitalOptics technologies, which provides conventional, grey-tone, and free-form litho source illumination. Effective SMO requires that the full degrees of freedom and actual constraints of the illumination design are incorporated into the design algorithms.

At 22 nanometers and below, conventional computational lithography techniques such as model-based OPC and the existing range of RETs are not sufficient to deliver the required silicon pattern fidelity. Cadence says that its SMO technology enables more accurate computational lithography assessments and trade-offs that improve pattern fidelity and enable increased product yield. This is accomplished by taking into account the RET/OPC recipes and models, mask manufacturability rules, polarisation pattern in the lens pupil, Jones matrix of the projection lens, optical parameters of the resist stack, resist diffusion, and other key factors.

A key differentiation of the Cadence technology is its ability to optimise the litho source illumination based on the printability of two-dimensional layout structures through a process window, rather than just through critical dimension requirements of the design.

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