20 March 2018 A smart way to identify and extract repeated patterns of a layout
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Abstract
As integrated circuits (IC) technology moves forward, manufacturing process is facing more and more challenges. Optical proximity correction (OPC) has been playing an important role in the whole manufacturing process. In the deep sub-micron technology, OPC engineers not only need to guarantee the layout designs to be manufacturable but also take a more precise control of the critical patterns to ensure a high performance circuit. One of the tasks that would like to be performed is the consistency checking as the identical patterns under identical context should have identical OPC results in theory, like SRAM regions. Consistency checking is essentially a technique of repeated patterns identification, extraction and derived patterns (i.e. OPC results) comparison. The layout passing to the OPC team may not have enough design hierarchical information either because the original designs may have undergone several layout processing steps or some other unknown reasons. This paper presents a generic way to identify and extract repeated layout structures in SRAM regions purely based on layout pattern analysis through Calibre Pattern Matching and Calibre equation-based DRC (eqDRC). Without Pattern Matching and eqDRC, it will take lots of effort to manually get it done by trial and error, it is almost impossible to automate the pattern analysis process. Combining Pattern Matching and eqDRC opens a new way to implement this flow. The repeated patterns must have some fundamental features for measurement of pitches in the horizontal and vertical direction separately by Calibre eqDRC and meanwhile can be a helper to generate some anchor points which will be the starting points for Pattern Matching to capture patterns. The informative statistical report from the pattern search tells the match counts individually for each patterns captured. Experiment shows that this is a smart way of identifying and extracting repeated structures effectively. The OPC results are the derived layers on these repeated structures, by running pattern search using design layers as pattern layers and OPC results as marker layers, it is an easy job to compare the consistency.
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Fang Wei, Tingting Gu, Zhihao Chu, Chenming Zhang, Han Chen, Jun Zhu, Xinyi Hu, Chunshan Du, Qijian Wan, Zhengfang Liu, "A smart way to identify and extract repeated patterns of a layout", Proc. SPIE 10588, Design-Process-Technology Co-optimization for Manufacturability XII, 105880W (20 March 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2297303; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2297303
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