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Proceedings Paper

Practical quality metrics for resolution enhancement software
Author(s): Robert E. Boone; Kevin Lucas; Raphael Wynd; Mike Boatright; Matthew A. Thompson; Alfred J. Reich
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Paper Abstract

The past few years have seen an explosion in the application of software techniques to improve lithographic printing. Techniques such as optical proximity correction (OPC) and phase shift masks (PSM) increase resolution and CD control by distorting the mask pattern data from the original designed pattern. These software techniques are becoming increasingly complicated and non-intuitive; and the rate of complexity increase appears to be accelerating [1]. The benefits of these techniques to improve CD control and lower cost of ownership (COO) is balanced against the effort required to implement them and the additional problems they create. One severe problem for users of immature and complex software tools and methodologies is quality control, [2] as it ultimately becomes a COO problem. Software quality can be defined very simply as the ability of an application to meet detailed customer requirements. Software quality practice can be defined as the adherence to proven methods for planning, developing, testing and maintaining software. Although software quality for lithographic resolution enhancement is extremely important, the understanding and recognition of good software development practices among lithographers is generally poor. We therefore start by reviewing the essential terms and concepts of software quality that impact lithography and COO. We then propose methods by which semiconductor process and design engineers can estimate and compare the quality of the software tools and vendors they are evaluating or using. We include examples from advanced process technology resolution enhancement work that highlight the need for high-quality software practices, and show how to avoid many problems. Note that, although several authors have worked in software application development, our analysis here is somewhat of a black box analysis. The black box is the software development organization of an RET software supplier. Our access to actual developers within these organizations is very limited. In so far as our comments with respect to the internal workings of these development organizations go, we rely on the interactions we have had with applications engineers and other technical specialists who provide our interface to the development organizations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 July 2003
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5043, Cost and Performance in Integrated Circuit Creation, (2 July 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.485281
Show Author Affiliations
Robert E. Boone, Motorola, Inc. (United States)
Kevin Lucas, Motorola, Inc. (United States)
Raphael Wynd, Elibrium LLC (United States)
Mike Boatright, Motorola, Inc. (United States)
Matthew A. Thompson, Motorola, Inc. (United States)
Alfred J. Reich, Motorola, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5043:
Cost and Performance in Integrated Circuit Creation
Alfred K. K. Wong; Kevin M. Monahan, Editor(s)

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