Synopsys, Nikon: Software + scanner data = “manufacturing-aware” DFM

September 18, 2007 – Nikon Corp. and Synopsys Inc. have delivered what they say is a “manufacturing-aware” system for 45nm and below chipmaking by combining info gleaned from Nikon scanners with Synopsys’ Proteus software, to develop sub-45nm litho models.

The two firms say that they have developed an embedded scanner parameter module to deliver “manufacturing-aware” optical proximity correction (OPC) and resolution enhancement technology (RET) litho simulation models for 45nm and below chip manufacturing. The announcement culminates a deal inked last September.

The work involves making Nikon’s optical litho exposure tool data available in Synopsys’ Proteus OPC software. A new interface provides automatic access to information about Nikon’s exposure systems (NSR-S610C, NSR-S609B, and NSR-S308F) — e.g., polarization, flare, synchronization, and various aberration data. Models created with this information can better predict litho printing effects vs. traditional “idealized” OPC models, and thus increase OPC modeling accuracy and reduce OPC modeling time.

Combining proprietary lithography information from Nikon with Proteus mask-synthesis data moves OPC accuracy into a new domain leading to improved CD control at 45 nanometers and below,” said Wolfgang Fichtner, SVP and GM of Synopsys’ silicon engineering group, in a statement.

The integrated system illustrates “the benefits of using an accurate scanner model for OPC development,” added Toshikazu Umatate, executive officer at Nikon Precision Equipment Co. “By incorporating our proprietary scanner information into the Proteus software, Nikon customers can gain a competitive advantage with improved OPC accuracy and faster optimization time.”


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