The data volumes of individual files used in the manufacture of modern integrated circuits have become unmanageable using existing data formats specifications. The ITRS roadmap indicates that single layer MEBES files in 2002 reached the 50 GB range, worst case. Under the sponsorship of SEMI, a working group was formed to create a new format for use in describing integrated circuit layouts in a more efficient and extendible manner. This paper is a report on the status and potential benefits the new format can deliver.

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