What is computational lithography?
Computational lithography is a process that could speed up the chip design time.
There are many things that need to be considered when designing or manufacturing a semiconductor. In the early stages the chip’s design will have to be developed – a process that could take considerable time.
As chips get smaller and more powerful, the complexity increases. This means more advanced manufacturing methods have to be considered, sooner rather than later.
The photo lithography process is when the semiconductor design is etched onto the wafer. It uses a series of light and radiation exposures to etch the semiconductor design onto the substrate wafer. During this process the wafer can be deformed because of the physical and chemical effects.
There’s more and more need for high accuracy in the etching process. There also ideally should be a way to predict or negate any errors caused in the etching. The errors can come from diffraction, the resist used, and a number of other things.
Computational lithography is a method of simulating chip lithography. It uses algorithms representing the manufacturing process, gathered from test wafers and machines. By running chip designs through a computer the resolution of the pattern can be increased.
This is becoming more essential as chip designs become smaller and higher resolution designs are needed.
The models used in in the simulations plan ahead for the potential physical and chemical effects of the photolithography, deforming them purposely to demonstrate the final effect.
A big name in the industry has recently released a software library which will further speed up the design process. This could apparently enable the creation of new lithography solutions and faster turnaround times.
Computational lithography has only been around since the mid-2000s. Following the term’s first use it quickly got adopted industry wide.
A clear picture
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