This industry faces new challenges every day. It gets tougher as process nodes shrink and the data complexity and
We are a mask data preparation (MDP) software provider, and have been providing MDP systems to mask shops since
1990. As the industry has, MDP software providers also have been facing new challenges over time, and the challenges
get tougher as process nodes shrink and the data complexity and volume increase. We discuss such MDP challenges and
solutions in this paper from a MDP software provider’s perspective.
The data volume continuously increases, and it is caused by shrinking the process node. In addition, resolution
enhancement techniques (RET) such as optical proximity correction (OPC) and inverse lithography technique (ILT)
induce data complexity, and it contributes considerably to the increase in data volume. The growth of data volume and
complexity brings challenges to MDP system, such as the computing speed, shot count, and mask process correction
New tools (especially mask writers) also bring new challenges. Variable-shaped E-beam (VSB) mask writers demand
fracturing less slivers and lower figure counts for CD accuracy and write time requirements respectively. Now multibeam
mask writers are under development and will definitely bring new challenges.