Mask Hotspots Are Escaping The Mask Shop

Model-based mask verification can stop them.

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Although the overwhelming majority of wafer production issues at the 28nm-and- below process nodes are lithography- and OPC-related, the semiconductor industry is starting to see problems caused by mask hotspots: wafer-level production issues that are caused when the shapes specified by optical proximity correction (OPC) are not faithfully reproduced on the mask. Mask hotspots will account for an increasingly larger portion of wafer-level issues as we go into 14nm-and-below nodes, regardless of which lithography technique is used.

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