ASML MaskTools, Mentor Graphicsto Partner on Optical Lithography
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Dec. 10 -- ASML subsidiary ASML MaskTools and Mentor Graphics Corp. have signed a collaborative agreement aimed at closing the gap between semiconductor design and sub-wavelength manufacturing. The accord is the first between an imaging solution provider (ASML) and an electronic design automation company (Mentor Graphics).
The companies pointed out that as the geometry of integrated circuits shrinks to 0.13 µm and smaller, full-chip manufacturability verification and optical extension techniques are becoming critical factors in realizing acceptable chip yields in semiconductor production. Optical extension techniques -- such as optical proximity correction, phase shift masks, scattering bars, and off-axis illumination -- are needed to carry optical lithography into what previously had been viewed as the realm of next-generation lithography.
ASML plans to combine its experience in imaging systems and silicon manufacturability with Mentor Graphics' knowledge of verification tools in this joint effort aimed at providing manufacturers with full-chip modeling and correction of the fabrication process, which will take into account the effects of mask production and advanced imaging, as well as resist and etch effects.
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