Early lithographic hotspot detection has become increasingly important in achieving lithography-friendly designs and manufacturability closure. Fast physical verification tools employing pattern matching or machine learning techniques have emerged as great options for detecting hotspots in the early design stages. This paper proposes a characterization methodology that provides measurable quantification of a given hotspot detection tool’s capability to capture a previously seen or unseen hotspot pattern. Using this methodology, we conduct a side-by-side comparison of two hotspot detection methods—one using pattern matching and the other based on machine learning.

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