The assignee for this patent application is
Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "As photolithography is pushed to fabricate deep-subwavelength devices, photomask (or mask) preparation is becoming more critical than ever before. This is in part due to the fact that mask patterns have become more complex than conventional
"Masks that preserve natural output shapes from inverse lithography solutions are shown to have better lithography process window than their
In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent application: "Aspects of the invention relate to techniques for integrating optical proximity correction and mask data preparation. In an OPC-MDP process, according to various embodiments of the invention, first mask writer instructions for a layout design are simulated to generate a mask contour. The layout design represents at least a portion of an integrated circuit design. The first mask writer instructions may be derived from an initial MDP operation that performs a conventional fracturing process on initial layout data, from a previous iteration of the OPC-MDP process, or an MDP global operation. The initial layout data may be generated by an OPC global operation.
"Based on the generated mask contour, first layout data for the layout design are adjusted for optical proximity correction to generate second layout data. The first layout data may be the initial layout data or the layout data from a previous iteration of the OPC-MDP process. Traditional OPC or inverse lithography may be employed for this operation. Using the generated second layout data as mask target, the first mask writer instructions are adjusted to generate second mask writer instructions.
"The above OPC-MDP process may be iterated until an end condition is met. One such end condition is residue mask and wafer errors are less than threshold error values. Another end condition is the number of iterations reaches a threshold number.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
"FIG. 1 illustrates an example of a computing system that may be used to implement various embodiments of the invention.
"FIG. 2 illustrates an example of a multi-core processor unit that may be used to implement various embodiments of the invention.
"FIG. 3 illustrates an OPC-MDP tool according to various implementations of the invention.
"FIG. 4 illustrates a flow chart describing an OPC and MDP integration method according to various implementations of the invention.
"FIG. 5 illustrates a flow chart describing an OPC and MDP integration method that use outputs of global operations as initial inputs to OPC/MDP local iterations according to some implementations of the invention."
For more information, see this patent application: Sahouria, Emile Y. Integration of Optical Proximity Correction and Mask Data Preparation. Filed
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