Brion Technologies, a division of ASML, this week announced a major milestone in its partnership with GlobalFoundries. The companies are collaborating to deliver high volume computational lithography capabilities for 28nm, 20nm and 14nm tapeouts, while also accelerating the development of future nodes, including extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography.
The process window is very challenging for leading edge technologies and substantially impacts yield, time to market and ultimately profitability. ASML's holistic lithography approach enables both process window enhancement and process window control from design to mask tapeout to chip manufacturing by leveraging the computational model accuracy that comes from tight integration with the ASML scanners including FlexRay and FlexWave.
"At 28nm and below it is necessary to explore and realize every possible process window improvement to achieve a manufacturable patterning solution. We have found that Brion's OPC and computational lithography solutions enable us to achieve this goal and ensure the best possible yield for GlobalFoundries' customers," said Chris Spence, senior fellow of GlobalFoundries.
In integrated circuits design, tape-out or tapeout is the final part of the design cycle before a photomask is manufactured. In its current practice (also known as ‘mask data preparation' or MDP) chip makers perform checks and make modifications to the mask design specific to the manufacturing process. Optical proximity correction (OPC) is the most common example, which corrects for the diffraction and interference behavior of light when printing the sub-micron scale features of modern integrated circuit designs.
Brion's Tachyon platform enables capabilities that address chip design, photomask making and wafer printing for semiconductor manufacturing.
GlobalFoundries is working with Brion to ensure that their foundry customers have the best possible and most cost effective semiconductor manufacturing capability available. Critical to achieving this is the use of Tachyon Flex, which is the platform architecture that allows the Tachyon applications to run on a customer's existing compute cluster, distributed across many thousands of CPU cores. Tachyon Flex has been demonstrated to have efficiency (or scalability) significantly better than other industry competitors, resulting in substantial time and cost savings for large tapeouts.
"We look forward to this important expansion of our long-standing relationship with GlobalFoundries, and to the successful use by GlobalFoundries of these leading edge technologies at the N28, N20, N14 and future nodes,” said Jim Koonmen, general manager of Brion Technologies.