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White Paper

Benefits of an integrated pipelined flow for curvilinear MPC and multibeam fracture

As the semiconductor manufacturing industry moves towards advanced nodes with increasingly complex designs, users may experience an enormous increase in runtimes of mask data processing steps. This is true for Mask Process Correction (MPC) and Mask Data Preparation (MDP or fracture). Conventionally, in a high-volume production flow, the steps execute sequentially; a subsequent step waits for the preceding step to complete. In cases where the entire design does not need to be processed for the next step to begin, users may pipeline the steps to reduce total turn-around time. For example, if MPC and fracture are executed on a design, fracture commences only once MPC is complete on the entire design.

An integrated, pipelined flow subsumes the runtimes associated with downstream fracture processing to the maximum possible capability of the computing resources. The integration is achieved by using a task-based pipeline that produces and consumes data without intermediate file exchange. It allows for in-memory processing which eliminates intermediate disk I/O operations, thereby making room for optimizations. This paper presents a comprehensive study of an integrated curvilinear MPC (CLMPC) + IMS Multibeam Fracture (MBMW) flow and demonstrates the runtime benefit with minimal impact on accuracy and file size over a conventional sequential flow. We explore and demonstrate the runtime advantage from pipelining on a set of representative curvilinear/rectilinear designs by comparing sequential vs. pipelined execution of curvilinear MPC (CLMPC) and curvilinear fracture. A set of 11 designs are investigated to illustrate a substantial reduction in runtime while maintaining high-quality results.