A new software tool is being developed which supports the manufacturing of very advanced semiconductor components, by simulation of the most critical parts of the production process.
The importance of software in increasing development speed and quality, and reducing R&D and production costs in many fields of advanced technology, has been growing steadily over the past decade. In microelectronics this applies to virtually everything including the semiconductor fabrication equipment, technological processes run on the equipment, electrical and mechanical behaviour of components fabricated, the entire manufacturing process, and the final product containing the semiconductor components (be it a computer, mobile phone, medical instrument or car). The costs involved in the process of manufacturing highly integrated circuits have increased dramatically as feature sizes shrink and this area in particular requires more simulation support.
With today's levels of technology, knowledge and control of three-dimensional (3D) effects is crucial for the development and production of highly integrated circuits, to optimise their electrical behaviour and minimise the time and cost of development and production. However, due to basic physical limitations, it is impossible to measure directly key parameters such as dopant profiles sufficiently accurately in three dimensions. Simulation of the required profile in the given region of the device would then the only known solution, so it is very important to have suitable 3D simulation software commercially available in the near future.
Within PROMPT, a multi-dimensional process simulation program is being developed. The PROMPT system includes the use of present commercially available two-dimensional (2D) programs, where applicable, complemented by newly developed 3D modules which compile the geometry and dopant profiles, for advanced 3D simulation of microelectronic components.
It took 2D process simulation programs, currently the main tools for industrial applications, about ten years to make the transition from first developments to mature commercial products. By contrast, in just two years PROMPT has already developed an initial version of the 3D simulation tool, ahead of worldwide competition. In addition, the PROMPT system also provides interfaces to the current commercially available 2D process tools and to 3D device (e.g. transistors forming part of an integrated circuit) simulation programs. Moreover, PROMPT has demonstrated that the 3D simulation of semiconductor fabrication processes does not need very expensive supercomputers, but is feasible on advanced workstations.
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e-mail email@example.comSigma-C Rosenheimer Landstrasse 74 D-85521 Ottobrunn Germany
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e-mail firstname.lastname@example.orgJ. Lorenz FhG-IIS-B Schottkystrasse 10 D-91058 Erlangen Germany
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www http://www.ise.ch http://www.sigma-c.de
Research Area Technologies for Components and Subsystems
Keywords 3D device simulation; IC manufacture; semi-conductor manufacture; sub-micron technologies;
|GEC Plessey Semiconductors UK|
|ISE AG CH|
|TU Vienn AU|
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