Photomask Data Prioritization Based on VLSI Design Intent and Its Utilization for Mask Manufacturing

Kokoro KATO  Masakazu ENDO  Tadao INOUE  Shigetoshi NAKATAKE  Masaki YAMABE  Sunao ISHIHARA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences   Vol.E93-A   No.12   pp.2424-2432
Publication Date: 2010/12/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1337
DOI: 10.1587/transfun.E93.A.2424
Print ISSN: 0916-8508
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on VLSI Design and CAD Algorithms)
Category: Device and Circuit Modeling and Analysis
Mask Data Rank (MDR),  design intent,  DFM,  MDP,  

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The increase in the time required for data processing, mask drawing, and inspection of photomask, has led to substantial increase in mask manufacturing cost. This has become one of the major challenges in the semiconductor industry. We have developed a data flow process for mask manufacturing in which we refer to design intent information in order to reduce TAT of mask manufacturing processes. We convert design level information "Design Intent (DI)" into priority information of mask manufacturing data known as "Mask Data Rank (MDR)" so that we can identify and sort out the importance of mask patterns from the view point of the design side. As a result, we can reduce mask writing time and mask inspection time. Our objective is to build efficient data flow conversion system from DI to MDR. In this paper we introduce the idea of MDR and the software system that we built for DI extraction. Then we show the experimental results with actual chip data. Lastly we will discuss related issues and their solutions.