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Litho optimization solution suits 32nm designs

Posted: 14 Mar 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:lithography? OPC? KLA-Tencor? Prolith?

KLA-Tencor has introduced the latest version of its PROLITH lithography optimization product!the PROLITH 10!which enables users to accurately predict lithography process windows for IC designs down to 32nm. With the predictive accuracy of PROLITH 10, customers have already cut costly experimental lithography wafer runs by up to half, reducing development cycle time and speeding time to market.

OPC impact
"Our customers find it is virtually impossible to develop a lithography recipe for 32nm designs without an accurate understanding of the impact of optical proximity correction (OPC) on the design," noted Edward Charrier, VP and general manager of KLA-Tencor's process analysis division. "PROLITH 10 combines the industry's most comprehensive lithography simulation with a powerful OPC engine so users can incorporate production-quality OPC effects into lithography process development. For the first time, development groups can utilize on-the-fly exploration modeling to confidently design for the most aggressive!or most cost-effective!OPC, knowing that they can quickly and accurately predict production results before a mature process is available."

The latest version of PROLITH enables detailed, predictive model-based OPC, with next-generation shape definition, for immersion lithography-based designs. This provides DFM insight early in the development cycle. Making on-the-fly tradeoffs between process and OPC application, or "co-optimization" of OPC and process, is now possible using PROLITH 10.

Predictive accuracy
Used as a virtual lithography cell, PROLITH 10 offers designers and process engineers powerful, predictive accuracy to quickly experiment with a wide variety of lithography process and OPC conditions and corrections, even before resists or scanners or other tools are available for a new node. The resulting lithography process windows can accelerate time-to-market by eliminating months of laborious experimentation to achieve optimum lithography conditions.

In addition to IC fabs, PROLITH is used by scanner suppliers, mask makers, resist suppliers and other lithography tool manufacturers to cost-effectively characterize and develop their products. KLA-Tencor claims to be the only vendor to offer a large library of calibrated photoresist files that customers can use to quickly focus OPC results on specific process conditions. This library is updated continuously for newly available resists.

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