SANTA CLARA, Calif.--A two-month-old partnership between Mentor Graphics Corp. and ASM Lithography's photomask subsidiary here has resulted in the three new offerings for makers of reticles used in 180-nanometer and below lithography.
ASML MaskTools today announced it would offer wafer fabs an unbundled manufacturing license for its patented scattering-bar intellectual property--a new policy which the company said will ease the use of Mentor's Calibre software for scattering-bar creation in advanced photomask designs. Scattering-bar technology is used in optical-extension techniques--such as optical proximity correction (OPC) and phase-shifting masks--to enable 180-nm exposures to print feature sizes smaller than the wavelength of light.
A new application guide to Calibre scattering is also being made available to help customers optimize design flows. And, a new Calibre WORKbench interactive software is available to lithographers to create Calibre process-simulation models and verify Calibre batch tool setups. Jointly qualified illumination models for ASML's Quasar-based multipole illuminators will be added to the Calibre WORKbench in the second quarter.
"ASML MaskTools' patented scattering-bar technique improves process latitude, making photolithography robust while also delivering consistent quality in wafer output," said Doug Marsh, president of ASML MaskTools and vice president of ASML. "Producers of advanced semiconductor devices rely on this technology to ensure the manufacturability of their leading-edge IC designs.
In December, ASML and Mentor announced the first alliance between a lithography supplier and major electronic design automation company to integrate solutions for development and verification of reticles used in the fabrication of subwavelength ICs (see Dec. 9, 1999, story).