Mask Data Preparation Flow For Advanced Technology Nodes

How to tame data file sizes, address fractured data files creation and streamline data review techniques.

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The trend to reduce critical features dimension has dramatically increased design file size. Design tape–out flows at the 28 nm technology node handle post-OPC data files that reach hundreds of gigabytes. This trend increases at 20 nm and below. That predicts new challenges in mask data preparation flow for advanced technology nodes. We have developed a mask data preparation flow to tackle the challenge of maintaining a consistent delivery time to mask shops, while efficiently using exiting hardware. Taming data file size required innovations in data processing for fractured data files creation and also in data review techniques. The paper will discuss these innovations and conduct a demonstration with results in a 28 nm technology node production flow. Cost-benefit analysis will be illustrated with runtime comparisons of fractured data creation, and data review between traditional mask data preparation flows and this specific flow.

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