A Pixel-based sub-resolution assist feature (SRAF) insertion technique has been considered as one of the promising solutions by maximizing the common process window. However, process window improvement of the pixel-based SRAF technique is limited by the simplification of SRAFs for mask manufacturability. Mask simplification and mask rule check (MRC) constraints parameters for pixel-based SRAF technique are the critical factors for mask production without a big loss of its benefit. In this study, correlation of MRC control was analyzed in terms of the robustness to process variation for a contact layer of 32nm device node. An optimum condition of MRC constraints was selected by balancing the process window and mask manufacturability. In addition, a novel and practical methodology for 32nm device node development was proposed to keep the mask complexity low and to take full advantage of process window improvement using pixel-base SRAF insertion.

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