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Proceedings Paper

Data path development for multiple electron beam maskless lithography
Author(s): Faruk Krecinic; Shy-Jay Lin; Jack J. H. Chen
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Paper Abstract

Electron beam lithography has been used in the production of integrated circuits for decades. However, due to the limitation of throughput it was not a viable solution for high volume manufacturing and its biggest application is the production of semiconductor masks. For many considerations it has particularly now become desirable to eliminate the semiconductor mask and introduce maskless lithography for semiconductor fabrication. Multiple Electron Beam Maskless Lithography (MEBML2) has been proposed as a solution to overcome the traditional source current limitation of an electron beam system by using many thousands of parallel electron beamlets to write a pattern directly on the wafer. In developing the MEBML2 tool the challenges have shifted and, in absence of the mask, the system data path has emerged as one of the central challenges. The main theme in the data path development is bandwidth. The required raw bandwidth at the patterning beams is determined by throughput and resolution, i.e. pixel size and number of intensity modulation levels. To achieve a production worthy throughput at 10 wafers per hour in a Gaussian-beam-based maskless lithography system, by writing 3.5-nm pixels at 2 levels (on/off) which is required for the 22-nm lithography node, the required aggregate bandwidth at the beam blanker array is up to 45 Tbit/s. Such a large bandwidth requirement means that the data path architecture is mainly characterized by the bandwidth of the data streams in the system. Compression techniques can be used to reduce the intermediate data stream bandwidth requirements and consequently lead to simplifying the system design, reducing power consumption and footprint, but come at the cost of increased data processing complexity and possible limitations on throughput. In this paper we will show results from the development of a prototype data path for the Gaussian-beam-based maskless lithography system. A new concept for data processing and storage is proposed. The vertex-based processing and storage technique is adopted to reduce memory usage considerably, with only modest requirements on the hardware resources. It reveals that a realistically implementable data path system for the maskless lithography tool in high volume manufacturing is feasible.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 April 2011
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 7970, Alternative Lithographic Technologies III, 797010 (4 April 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.881010
Show Author Affiliations
Faruk Krecinic, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Taiwan)
Shy-Jay Lin, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Taiwan)
Jack J. H. Chen, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Taiwan)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7970:
Alternative Lithographic Technologies III
Daniel J. C. Herr, Editor(s)

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