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Synopsys, Nikon co-develop 45nm solutions

Posted: 22 Sep 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:lithography equipment? 45nm? OPC? RET? lithography simulation models?

Semiconductor design company Synopsys Inc. and lithography equipment supplier Nikon Corp. have joined forces to develop and deliver advanced lithography software models and DFM-enabled lithography manufacturing solutions for 45nm and below.

The Synopsys-Nikon collaboration is touted to combine EDA design and optical lithography imaging system expertise to build next generation "manufacturing-aware" OPC and RET lithography simulation models. At 45nm and below, critical dimension (CD) control will be at single nanometer levels, pushing current OPC/RET models and optical lithography system performance to extreme limits.

Early work will focus on the development and optimization of advanced lithography simulation models that can capture Nikon lithography system's proprietary signatures. Leveraging new manufacturing-aware models and collaborative expertise gained, future work will focus on the development and deployment of advanced DFM manufacturing in-fab solutions for Nikon lithography systems.

"At 45nm and below, the characterization and integration of both design and manufacturing information is essential," said Anantha Sethuraman, VP of DFM Solutions at Synopsys. "In this new DFM centric landscape, design companies must work together to accelerate time to entitled yield and reduced time to market."

New lithography simulation and OPC/RET models must be developed to improve CD performance for 45nm and below. To achieve nanometer-level 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. 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 Precision Equipment Co. of Nikon. "By partnering with leading-edge EDA companies like Synopsys, we can provide enhanced imaging performance for our customers."

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