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10 July 2003 OPC on real-world circuitry
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In the face of Moore's Law, the lithographic community is finding increasing pressure to do more with less. More, in the sense that lithographers are expected to use an exposure wavelength "lambda" that is shrinking at a slower rate than the critical dimensions (CDs) of devices. This has resulted in the introduction of complicated Resolution Enhancement Technology (RET) schemes. Less, in the sense that the competitive marketplace has resulted in shortened development cycles. These shortened development times mean that lithography and RET teams are often expected to demonstrate "first pass success" with increasing complex lithographic solutions. Unfortunately, first silicon on product prototypes may reveal deficiencies in an OPC infrastrcuture which had been developed using only research and development (R&D) testdie. The primary cause of these deficiencies is that the development and test-structure layouts frequently lack the 2D complexity of real circuitry. OPC models and lithography R&D traditionally compensate well for failures and marginal sites on the simple patterns of R&D testdie. The more complex geometries of real layouts frequently present new challenges. Here, we describe a program initiated at TI to add a complex pattern to the very first test reticle generated for a new technology node. This pattern is auto-generated and includes a random combination of representive circuits at the design rule for that node. OPC is applied to the pattern almost immediately after layout. The distribtion of printed features and marginal sites can then be identified early using simulation. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images of resist and post-etch features can further identify sites requiring changes once reticles are received. We have shown that this early OPC R&D on complex geometries can prevent several OPC revision cycles and enable faster volume yield ramp.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Sean C. O'Brien, Tom Aton, Mark E. Mason, Carl Vickery, and John N. Randall "OPC on real-world circuitry", Proc. SPIE 5042, Design and Process Integration for Microelectronic Manufacturing, (10 July 2003);


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