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Trio works on e-beam solutions

Posted: 14 Jan 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:e-beam design solution? 32nm DFEB 45nm? collaboration equipment e-beam?

Vistec Electron Beam Lithography Group, CEA/Leti and emerging design and software company D2S Inc. have announced a collaboration focused on refining and validating advanced design-for-e-beam (DFEB) solutions for the 45nm and 32nm nodes.

Over the next 12 months, CEA/Leti will manufacture test chips using a combination of D2S' advanced DFEB design and software capabilities and the latest high-resolution e-beam direct-write (EbDW) lithography equipment from Vistec. The goal of this collaboration is to print 45nm and 32nm circuits using Vistec Electron Beam's SB3054 system installed at CEA/Leti.

Cell projection tech
Driving the need for this joint effort is the ever-rising cost of semiconductor masks, which is making low-volume production of custom ICs economically infeasible. Using an e-beam tool to directly write patterns onto a wafer has always been the most accurate way to pattern a semiconductor wafer. However, low throughput using a traditional variable shaped beam (VSB) approach has limited its application. By efficiently using character or cell projection (CP) technology to re-write the throughput rules around EbDW, the DFEB solution virtually eliminates the cost of masks and can speed time-to-market by shortening the design-to-lithography process flow.

D2S' proprietary DFEB solution encourages and isolates the most commonly recurring patterns of chip designs and translates them into templates on mini-reticles. A prepared set of templates on a mini-reticle then allows these complex patterns to be replicated in a single shot on a wafer. This is accomplished using Vistec's SB3054 tool using CP technology. By reducing a design's required shot count, this approach improves throughput over VSB while enhancing accuracy.

"Ever increasing mask costs are presenting numerous challenges in the semiconductor industry," said Aki Fujimura, D2S founder and CEO. "Combining EbDW with CP provides a low-risk, low-cost path to a new production paradigm."

Laurent Pain, lithography laboratory manager at CEA/Leti added, "DFEB is an innovative, new approach to the old problem of boosting e-beam throughput while enhancing accuracy."

"We see the integrated CP functionality and DFEB software as a bridge between the high-resolution requirements of advanced R&D and the challenging throughput expectations driven by industrial prototyping applications," said Wolfgang Dorl, general manager at Vistec Electron Beam.





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