Microlithography 2005
Conference paper

Toward through-process layout quality metrics

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Quality of a layout has the most direct impact in the manufacturability of a design. Traditionally, layout quality is ensured in the first order by design rules, i.e. if a layout is free of design rules violation, it is a good layout. It is assumed such a layout will be fabricated to specification. Moreover, a design rule clean layout also ensures the electrical performance of the circuit it represents. There are other layout quality measures, e.g. random defects yield of a layout is modeled by critical area, systematic defects yield is sometime measured by a weighted score of recommended design rules. All the traditional layout quality measures are computed with drawn layout shapes. In the advent of low K 1 lithography and the increasing variability of process technologies beyond 90nm, nominal layout quality measures need to be revisited. Traditionally, nominal electrical properties such as L-eff and W-eff are extracted from drawn layout, and the corner cases are estimated with worst case process conditions. Most of these parameters are layout pattern dependent. As a matter of fact, they can be systematic through process and can have large impact in the modeling of circuit parameters [1]. In this paper, we investigate a through process layout quality measure, in which we extract through process electrical parameters from simulated through process resist contours. We showed a mechanism to compute a statistical model that predicts through process electrical parameters from the process parameter variation. We demonstrated that such computation is practical.