Synopsys, Inc. (NASDAQ:SNPS),
a world leader in software and IP for semiconductor design and manufacturing,
today announced a joint collaboration with Powerchip and Nikon to deploy the
Nikon Scanner Signature Files (NSSF) as a means to increase Proteus ProGen model
accuracy on 42-nanometer (nm) flash memory designs. The NSSF parameters provide
factory-averaged empirical data from the illumination source, lens and stage,
which ports directly into Proteus ProGen models to capture the unique scanner
Some or all of these parameters can be deployed to provide increased model
accuracy for critical designs, like memory cells, with little to no impact on
optical proximity correction (OPC) runtime. The migration from ideal to empirical
scanner parameters enables enhanced physical modeling and progression to future
technology nodes in which customized or aggressive off-axis illumination is
common with memory processes.
"We expect the stepper-specific NSSF parameters can provide the additional
modeling accuracy required in this highly competitive memory market," said
Nelson Lai, OPC department manager for the Nano-Printing Technology Group at
Powerchip, a Taiwan-based manufacturer of memory products and foundry services.
"This NSSF collaboration will be instrumental in increasing yield for our
unique 42-nanometer flash memory and in future designs."
"We are committed to providing regular progressions in modeling accuracy
to equip our customers with the tools necessary to increase yield in highly
competitive markets," said J. Tracy Weed, director of marketing for the
Silicon Engineering Group at Synopsys. "Our strong collaboration with Nikon
has been very effective in our drive toward sub-nanometer model accuracy by
creating a more physical system."
"By incorporating proprietary Nikon scanner information into the Proteus
software, customers can gain a competitive advantage through improved OPC accuracy
and faster optimization time," said Toshikazu Umatate, operating officer
and general manager, Development Headquarters, Precision Equipment Company,
Nikon Corporation. "Through this collaboration with Synopsys we have been
able to show clear benefits to our customers."
This phase of NSSF deployment is the latest milestone in an ongoing collaboration
between Synopsys and Nikon to develop the required model accuracy value links
between OPC software and Nikon hardware.