21 March 2007 Process window aware layout optimization using hot spot fixing system
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Abstract
The feasibility of Hot Spot Fixing (HSF) system in DfM flow is studied and reported. Hot spot fixing using process simulation is indispensable under low-k1 lithography process for logic devices with advanced design rule (DR). Hot spot such as pinching, bridging, line-end shortening will occur, mainly depending on local pattern context. Proper calibration of DR, mask data preparation (MDP), resolution enhancement technique (RET) and optical proximity effect correction (OPC) will reduce potential hot spots. However, pattern layout variety is so enormous that, even with most careful calibration of every process, unexpected potential hot spots are occasionally left in the design layout 1-2. OPC optimization is useful for maximizing common process margin, but it cannot expand individual pattern's process margin without modification of design layout. So, at an early design stage, hot spot extraction using lithography compliance check (LCC) and manual modification of design at hot spots will be a simple and useful method. The problem is that, it is difficult to determine how to modify layout in order to be consistent with DR, MDP/OPC rule. For proper layout modification, intimate knowledge of the entire process would be necessary, and moreover, the modification work often tends to be iterative, and thus time-consuming. Therefore, using our automated HSF system in the cell design stage and also the chip design stage is helpful for fixing design layout while avoiding fatal hot spot occurrence, with enough process margin and also with short turnaround time (TAT) 3-4. The basic system flow in the developed system is as follows; LCC extracts potential hot spots, and the hot spots are categorized by lithography error mode, grade, and surrounding context. And then, hot spot modification instructor, taking the surrounding situation into consideration, generates modification guide for every hot spot. Design data is automatically modified according to the instruction at every hot spot, complying with the design rule. The design modification process is verified with design-rule checker (DRC) and process simulation to confirm hot spot elimination without side effect. In this work, HSF is implemented in the design flow for various logic devices of 65 nm node. We extend modification target layers to multiple critical layers, including active area, poly, local metal wire and intermediate metal wire. The feasibility of the provided HSF system has been studied by applying it to around one hundred data of various sizes with respect to pattern fixing rate and turn around time (TAT). Moreover, process margin expansion including depth of focus (DOF) and exposure latitude (EL), in small layout was verified using process simulation and also by experimental results, namely, scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of focus exposure matrix. The detailed results are shown in the paper.
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Sachiko Kobayashi, Sachiko Kobayashi, Suigen Kyoh, Suigen Kyoh, Toshiya Kotani, Toshiya Kotani, Soichi Inoue, Soichi Inoue, } "Process window aware layout optimization using hot spot fixing system", Proc. SPIE 6521, Design for Manufacturability through Design-Process Integration, 65210B (21 March 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.710299; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.710299
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