29 March 2013 Mask strategy and layout decomposition for self-aligned quadruple patterning
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Abstract
Self-aligned quadruple patterning (SAQP) process is a proven technique for deep nano-scale IC manufacturing, while its mask design and layout decomposition strategy is less intuitive. In this paper, we examine both 2- and 3-mask SAQP process characteristics and develop various decomposition methods to achieve higher feature density and 2-D design flexibility. It is demonstrated that by generating assisting mandrels, SAQP layout decomposition can be degenerated into a SADP decomposition problem for which mature algorithms already exist in our EDA industry. Moreover, a spacer-expansion mask concept is introduced and a grouping/coloring algorithm to assign feature colors is developed for 3-mask SAQP layout decomposition. Finally, several 2-D layouts are successfully decomposed, showing the functionality of the decomposition method we proposed.
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Weiling Kang, Weiling Kang, Chen Feng, Chen Feng, Yijian Chen, Yijian Chen, "Mask strategy and layout decomposition for self-aligned quadruple patterning", Proc. SPIE 8684, Design for Manufacturability through Design-Process Integration VII, 86840E (29 March 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2011261; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2011261
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