Zeiss SMS GmbH, a leading supplier for photomask metrology and repair tools
and Synopsys, Inc. (Nasdaq: SNPS), a world leader in software and IP for semiconductor
design, verification and manufacturing, today announced a collaboration to support
the ZEISS tool family for in–die metrology solutions for the 32-nanometer
(nm) technology node and below.
Synopsys will offer support for ZEISS’ PROVE™, the next-generation
registration metrology tool, through Synopsys’ CATS™, the technology-leading
mask data preparation solution. Using CATS as the data preparation engine, mask
engineers using PROVE can benefit from improved efficiency and usability of
a registration metrology system that meets stringent overlay accuracy requirements.
Strong optical proximity correction and double patterning techniques, required
to extend 193-nm lithography to the next technology nodes, demand greater photomask
pattern placement accuracy. The new PROVE system meets these increased demands
with its groundbreaking concept of 193-nm illumination optics. It delivers an
in-die metrology capability for measurement of the smallest production features
without placing registration marks, enabling mask makers to measure and analyze
registration in critical areas on the mask.
The new CATS module, currently in limited customer availability and generally
available in March 2011, enables a fast, efficient and fully automated flow
for the setup of photomask metrology jobs. Using the industry standard open
formats OASIS.MASK and XML, advanced marking capabilities and the PROVE two-dimensional
(2D) correlation method, CATS offers a significant enhancement to conventional
image analysis schemes. The innovative method compares 2D design clips of the
mask provided by CATS with images on the mask captured by PROVE, resulting in
higher measurement accuracy compared to standard methods using 1D measurements
based on edges only.
“With Synopsys’ long-term experience in mask data preparation and
Carl Zeiss’ know-how in in-die metrology, the new CATS module with its
exciting capabilities will significantly help to reduce mask registration errors
on arbitrary production features,” said Dr. Dirk Beyer, product manager
for PROVE at Carl Zeiss SMS GmbH.
Registration errors can now be quantified for each mask with no resolution
limitations, giving mask manufacturers a completely new tool for reducing placement
errors in double patterning and mask-to-mask overlay.
“Synopsys’ collaboration with Carl Zeiss exemplifies our commitment
to offering comprehensive lithography, inspection and metrology solutions to
the mask manufacturing market”, said Fabio Angelillis, vice president
of engineering for Synopsys’ Silicon Engineering Group. “By extending
CATS to support PROVE, we are delivering higher quality metrology solutions
to our customers at the 32-nanometer technology node and below,” he added.