28 March 2017 Using pattern matching to increase performance in hotspot fixing flows
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Abstract
As feature sizes and pitches continue to decrease, more complex correction algorithms are needed to solve increasingly difficult geometric configurations. Usage of these more complex algorithms results in unacceptably long time-to-mask when applied to an entire design. In many cases, the more complex algorithms are only required in a small percentage of areas of the entire design, and these areas are not always known prior to tapeout. Hotspot fixing (HSF) flows are increasingly used to fix these hotspot areas to minimize errors and decrease time-to-mask. These flows involve “recorrecting” a design, using the previous correction output as the input to the HSF flow. This input file contains a hierarchy that was optimized for the original correction. Hotspot areas are frequently smaller than the original correction areas and frequently repeat in unique cell outputs of the original correction, so the optimal hierarchy for a HSF fix flow may be very different from the original correction. A new hierarchy, optimized for HSF, is difficult to form from the corrected output. This paper describes the usage of pattern-matching to regain hierarchical compression for identical hotspot areas that are not repeating cells in the original correction. Using this pattern-matching HSF flow, turnaround time for the hotspot fixing can be more than 50X faster than re-using the original correction’s hierarchy for complex HSF methods. These significant gains can be achieved in spite of the additional complexity it can add to the flow. In the case where simpler/faster HSF correction methods are used, significant turnaround time gains can still be made by using this pattern matching technique.

Hotspot fixing methodologies are increasingly deployed during tapeouts as a means to optimize the tradeoffs between complex, highly accurate correction methods and faster methods that are sufficient for most pattern areas.1 However, pattern database hierarchies may not be optimum for these hotspot fixing flows, as they are optimized for the initial correction run or method. This paper examines the usage of pattern matching to regain hierarchy and significantly reduce turn-around-time for complex hotspot fixing methods. Gains in turn-around-time can be well over 50 times faster than reusing the original correction’s hierarchy.
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Bradley J. Falch, Seung-Hee Baek, John Tsai, Mingchao Ji, Jun Zhu, "Using pattern matching to increase performance in hotspot fixing flows", Proc. SPIE 10148, Design-Process-Technology Co-optimization for Manufacturability XI, 101481A (28 March 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2258095; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2258095
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