Synopsys Announces Joint Collaboration with Powerchip and Nikon on 42-nm Flash Memory Optimization

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 signatures.

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.

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