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New Product: Brion generates co-optimization of source and mask in Tachyon SMO

26 February 2009 | By Mark Osborne | Product Briefings > Lithography

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Product Briefing Outline: Brion Technologies, a division of ASML, has introduced Tachyon SMO, a new source mask optimization (SMO) product. For the first time, full co-optimization of source and mask is achievable with Tachyon SMO. This product provides the industry with manufacturable low k1 imaging solutions.

Problem: Lithographers use the “process factor” k1 to express the relative difficulty of a given lithography process. Improvements in lithography system capabilities, photoresist processes, and masks enable lithography at smaller k1 values, which in turn allows chipmakers to produce devices with increasingly smaller features, with minimal sacrifice of process latitude.

Solution: Tachyon SMO extends 193nm low k1 imaging, and ensures an optimized process window from R&D through production while minimizing feature sizes and number of exposures per layer. The product incorporates measured parameters from ASML scanners and a proprietary pupil modeling capability, enabling customers to optimize both standard and custom illumination solutions. The accuracy of the scanner models ensures that the SMO output will transfer and image correctly on the scanner. Full chip extension is performed through the generation of a process model in the standard Tachyon format for use in production OPC and verification. Tachyon SMO leverages proprietary illumination capabilities and advanced scanner models from ASML to optimize the source simultaneously with all patterns on the mask. Process window improvements of more than 40% have been achieved with Tachyon SMO relative to previous iterative techniques. 

Applications: Lithography

Platform: Tachyon SMO is an ASML proprietary software product that simultaneously optimizes the ASML scanner source and all patterns on the mask. SMO features include full integration with access to the ASML scanner specification database, multi-clip optimization with weighting, overlapping process window, edge placement error (EPE) and mask error enhancement factor (MEEF) as metrics.

Availability: February 2009 onwards.

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