Mask manufacturing for the 100 and 65nm nodes is accompanied by an increasing deployment of VSB mask writing machines. The continuous integration trend in design and broad deployment of RET have a tremendous impact on file size and pattern complexity. The impact on the total turn-around time for a design is twofold: the time to get the data ready for the hand-off to the mask writer is growing but also the time it actually takes to write the mask is heavily influenced by the size and complexity of the data. Different parameters are measures of how the flow and the particular tooling impact both portions. The efficiency of the data conversion flow conducted by a software tool can be measured by the output file size, the scalability of the computing during parallel processing on multiple processors and the total cpu-time for the transformation. The mask writing of a particular data set is affected by the file size and the shot count. The latter one is the total amount of shots that are required to expose all patterns on the mask. The shot count can be estimated based on the figure count by type and their dimensions. The results of the fracturing have an impact on the mask quality—in particular the grid size and the number and locations of small figures.

Note: By clicking on the above link, this paper will be emailed to your TechOnLine log-in address by Mentor Graphics.