Publisher’s Note: This paper, originally published on 30-March, 2017, was replaced with a corrected/revised version on 6-April, 2017. If you downloaded the original PDF but are unable to access the revision, please contact SPIE Digital Library Customer Service for assistance.
At advanced nodes, definition of design rules and process options must be tightly optimized to deliver the best tradeoff performance, power, area and manufacturability. However, implementation platforms don’t typically have access to process information and process teams don’t have design knowledge, and optimization loops required for Design-Technology-Co-Optimization (DTCO) are either impossible or at best long and expensive for fabless design house.
Joining forces, ASML, IMEC and Cadence Design Systems developed an In-design and signoff lithography physical analysis well suited for 7/5nm and below. The Tachyon OPC+ engine used by IMEC 7/5nm process has been integrated in Cadence Litho Physical Analyzer (LPA) to perform lithography checks using the foundry process models, recipes, and hotspot detectors. This flow leverages existing LPA infrastructure for both custom and digital design platforms, as well as standalone signoff.
Depending upon the end application, LPA could be launched either from place & route or custom layout or standalone. LPA processes first the design database to identify hierarchy, decompose the layout for coloring and apply pattern matching to identify location requiring simulation. The layout is then passed to the Tachyon OPC tool to perform optical process correction and model-based litho verification that is validated on Silicon. The hotspots and contours are processed by LPA for generation of hotspot marker and fixing guidelines and provide all this information to the design environment.
The flow has been developed and demonstrated to work on IMEC 7nm, and can be ported to smaller or larger technologies. The paper will present the result of this In-design and signoff lithography physical analysis flow, how DTCO and design teams can add manufacturability to PPA.
Demand for mask process correction (MPC) is growing for leading-edge process nodes. MPC was originally intended to
correct CD linearity for narrow assist features difficult to resolve on a photomask without any correction, but it has been
extended to main features as process nodes have been shrinking.
As past papers have observed, MPC shows improvements in photomask fidelity. Using advanced shape and dose
corrections could give more improvements, especially at line-ends and corners. However, there is a dilemma on using
such advanced corrections on full mask level because it increases data volume and run time. In addition, write time on
variable shaped beam (VSB) writers also increases as the number of shots increases.
Optical proximity correction (OPC) care-area defines circuit design locations that require high mask fidelity under mask
writing process variations such as energy fluctuation. It is useful for MPC to switch its correction strategy and permit the
use of advanced mask correction techniques in those local care-areas where they provide maximum wafer benefits. The
use of mask correction techniques tailored to localized post-OPC design can result in similar desired level of data
volume, run time, and write time. ASML Brion and NCS have jointly developed a method to feedforward the care-area
information from Tachyon LMC to NDE-MPC to provide real benefit for improving both mask writing and wafer
This paper explains the detail of OPC care-area feedforwarding to MPC between ASML Brion and NCS, and shows the
results. In addition, improvements on mask and wafer simulations are also shown. The results indicate that the worst
process variation (PV) bands are reduced up to 37% for a 10nm tech node metal case.
The 22-nm technology node presents a real breakthrough compared to previous nodes in the way that state of the
art scanner will be limited to a numerical aperture of 1.35. Thus we cannot "simply" apply a shrink factor from
the previous node, and tradeoffs have to be found between Design Rules, Process integration and RET solutions
in order to maintain the 50% density gain imposed by the Moore's law. One of the most challenging parts to
enable the node is the ability to pattern Back-End Holes and Metal layers with sufficient process window. It is
clearly established that early process for these layers will be performed by double patterning technique coupled
with advanced OPC solutions.
In this paper we propose a cross comparison between possible double patterning solutions: Pitch Splitting (PS)
and Sidewall Image Transfer (SIT) and their implication on design rules and CD Uniformity. Advanced OPC
solutions such as Model Based SRAF and Source Mask Optimization will also be investigated in order to ensure
good process control.
This work is a part of the Solid's JDP between ST, ASML and Brion in the framework of Nano2012 sponsored
by the French government.
Source Mask Optimization (SMO) technique is an advanced RET with the goal of extending optical lithography lifetime by enabling low k1 imaging [1,2]. Most of the literature concerning SMO has so far focused on PV (process variation) band, MEEF and PW (process window) aspects to judge the performance of the optimization as in traditional OPC . In analogy to MEEF impact for low k1 imaging we investigate the source error impact as SMO sources can have rather complicated forms depending on the degree of freedom allowed during optimization.
For this study we use Tachyon SMO tool on a 22nm metal design test case. A free form and parametric source solutions are obtained using MEEF and PW requirements as main criteria. For each type of source, a source perturbation is introduced to study the impact on lithography performance. Based on the findings we conclude on the choice of freeform or parametric as a source and the importance of source error in the optimization process.
In the continuous battle to improve critical dimension (CD) uniformity, especially for 45-nanometer (nm) logic
advanced products, one important recent advance is the ability to accurately predict the mask CD uniformity
contribution to the overall global wafer CD error budget. In most wafer process simulation models, mask error
contribution is embedded in the optical and/or resist models. We have separated the mask effects, however, by
creating a short-range mask process model (MPM) for each unique mask process and a long-range CD
uniformity mask bias map (MBM) for each individual mask. By establishing a mask bias map, we are able to
incorporate the mask CD uniformity signature into our modelling simulations and measure the effects on global
wafer CD uniformity and hotspots. We also have examined several ways of proving the efficiency of this
approach, including the analysis of OPC hot spot signatures with and without the mask bias map (see Figure 1)
and by comparing the precision of the model contour prediction to wafer SEM images. In this paper we will
show the different steps of mask bias map generation and use for advanced 45nm logic node layers, along with
the current results of this new dynamic application to improve hot spot verification through Brion Technologies'
model-based mask verification loop.