Product Outline: Brion Technologies, a division of ASML, has launched the Tachyon Flexible Mask Optimization (Tachyon FMO), part of ASML’s Holistic Lithography portfolio. Tachyon FMO is claimed to enable the seamless use of multiple Optical Proximity Correction (OPC) techniques in a single mask tapeout, permitting the use of advanced and computationally intensive OPC in key local areas where they provide maximum benefit. Tachyon FMO has been demonstrated on real customer cases to reduce tapeout cycle time by over 65%, compared to using advanced techniques for the entire chip. It has also shown a 15-20% reduction in mask complexity, which has a strong correlation with reduced cost and increased yield in mask manufacturing.
Problem: Techniques such as model based sub-resolution assist features (MB-SRAF) and 3D mask modeling (M3D) are essential to good imaging, yet can be computationally intensive and can add complexity and cost to mask making.
Solution: Tachyon FMO enables the use of different OPC techniques tailored to localized imaging challenges that can result in tapeout cycle time which is claimed to be just one-third of alternative technologies, and which results in the same desired level of imaging performance. The key to Tachyon FMO enabling the use of multiple mask correction approaches is the high quality boundary healing between the different correction areas. Thus, different areas within a design can have different correction techniques applied without inducing trouble-areas, known as hotspots, in the boundary regions between them. Brion has developed an elegant solution that detects and manipulates hotspots and has the ability to cleanly reinsert the corrected hotspots back into the full chip design without introducing new defects due to proximity effects of neighboring patterns.
Applications: Tachyon FMO enables a number of flexible application modes such as repair, insertion of known-good libraries, efficient correction of mask revisions, and applying advanced OPC techniques in highly localized areas where such techniques provide real benefit.
Platform: Tachyon FMO is particularly relevant for 2x nm designs which require more advanced scanner capabilities like ASML’s FlexRay illuminator and FlexWave customized wavefronts, along with sophisticated OPC techniques to achieve pattern fidelity in lithography.
Availability: February 2012 onwards.