EUV litho gets boost from ASML Brion software

(September 14, 2010) — Brion Technologies, a division of ASML, debuted the Tachyon NXE software to optimize predictive modeling for ASML Extreme Ultraviolet (EUV) scanners. EUV scanners enable smaller, faster, cheaper and more energy-efficient semiconductors. The accurate EUV modeling in Tachyon NXE will reduce development time and cost to produce chips on EUV systems, according to the company.

The Tachyon NXE software package integrates with existing Tachyon products to enable EUV lithography process simulation. In developing Tachyon NXE, Brion has incorporated TWINSCAN NXE:3100 scanner characteristics, models, and data to accurately describe the optical performance of the system. By simulating the behavior of the new scanner in software, this Tachyon NXE model can efficiently predict and correct NXE-specific effects before the start of chip production, helping to decrease EUV mask re-spins and shorten the learning cycles during final mask development.  

The Optical Proximity Correction (Tachyon OPC+) and Lithography Manufacturability Check (Tachyon LMC) applications from Brion can now incorporate the new software model of ASML’s EUV pre-production scanners, 6 of which will ship before mid-2011. These applications have been optimized for accuracy, file size and run-time as uniquely required by EUV. In multiple DRAM test cases, Brion has demonstrated the capability to perform full field (~8 cm2) EUV mask data correction in less than 8 hours on a single Tachyon system.

Jim Koonmen, general manager of Brion, spoke with senior technical editor Debra Vogler about the industry transition to EUV and the software’s role. Listen to the podcast: Download or Play Now

ASML and Brion are committed to providing widespread access to the accurate NXE:3100 and NXE:3300 scanner models and to continuously improve the entire lithographic process for chipmakers. Brion will continue to invest in Tachyon NXE to continuously improve its capabilities, while developing a separate product that will enable customer access to NXE-specific effects within a broad range of simulation tools. This second product will be available soon.

Computational lithography is the use of computer modeling to predict, correct, optimize and verify imaging performance of the lithography process over a range of patterns, processes, and system conditions. Read an article on computational lithography demands here.

EUV is a lithographic method using a source wavelength 15 times shorter than current lithography systems, enabling semiconductor scaling to resolutions of 10nm and smaller. Read a recent article about EUV lithography here.

Brion Technologies is a division of ASML (lithography system provider) focused on computational lithography for integrated circuits. For more information: or

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