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ELIAS: An Accurate and Extensible Lithography Aerial Image Simulator With Improved Numerical Algorithms

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2 Author(s)
Peng Yu ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of Texas, Austin, TX ; Pan, D.Z.

Lithography simulators have been playing an indispensable role in process optimization and design for manufacturability (DFM). The ever smaller feature sizes demand higher numerical accuracy and faster runtime on these lithography simulators. Aerial image simulation is the first key step in lithography simulation, and the method using transmission cross coefficient (TCC), which is a two-dimensional integral, is the most commonly used technique for full-chip aerial image simulation. In this paper, we present a very accurate, yet efficient and extensible aerial image simulator, ELIAS. We find that the majority of the numerical error during the TCC computation is due to the discontinuous boundaries of the support of the TCC integrand. We reduce the error dramatically by using a recursive integration algorithm. Because TCC is usually computed on uniform grids, we further speed up the algorithm without increasing the errors. Given the same accuracy, our new algorithm can speed up the runtime by 100 times - 1000times. Our algorithm also provides smooth tradeoff between accuracy and runtime. It can be used to benchmark other lithography aerial simulators. In addition, ELIAS provides an open-source, flexible software framework to incorporate different lithography settings.

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Semiconductor Manufacturing, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:22 ,  Issue: 2 )