The new MDP methods may place shot edges slightly differently from target to compensate for mask process effects, so that the final patterns on a mask are much closer to the design (which can be viewed as the ideal mask), especially for those assist features. Such an alteration generally produces better masks that are closer to the intended mask design. Traditional XOR-based MDP verification cannot detect problems caused by eBeam effects. Much like model-based OPC verification which became a necessity for OPC a decade ago, we see the same trend in MDP today.
Simulation-based MDP verification solution requires a GPU-accelerated computational geometry engine with simulation capabilities. To have a meaningful simulation-based mask check, a good mask process model is needed. The TrueModel® system is a field tested physical mask model developed by D2S. The GPU-accelerated D2S Computational Design Platform (CDP) is used to run simulation-based mask check, as well as model-based MDP. In addition to simulation-based checks such as mask EPE or dose margin, geometry-based rules are also available to detect quality issues such as slivers or CD splits. Dose margin related hotspots can also be detected by setting a correct detection threshold.
In this paper, we will demonstrate GPU-acceleration for geometry processing, and give examples of mask check results and performance data. GPU-acceleration is necessary to make simulation-based mask MDP verification acceptable.