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Petaflop era for semiconductor manufacturing

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By Nick Flaherty


D2S has launched its seventh generation of its computational design platform (CDP) for designing the complex masks for chip making.

The CDP uses Nvidia’s latest GPU chips to reach petaflop performance for 5nm and 3nm manufacturing. This is used for the calculations for inverse lithography technology (ILT) to produce curvilinear shapes on photomasks, mask process correction (MPC) for multibeam mask writing to process these incredibly complex mask shapes, curvilinear mask and wafer simulation and verification, and deep learning for photomask and semiconductor manufacturing. The GPU performance is particularly important for curvilinear shapes, which are not possible with CPU-only applications.

The software is architected to run on Nvidia’s A40 chips for the high speed, accuracy and reliability required in a rack that runs 24×7 in a production cleanroom.

“For more than a decade, the semiconductor industry has recognized that curvilinear shapes on photomasks computed by ILT produce the best wafer quality, but adoption has been hindered by long mask write times using conventional variable-shaped beam (VSB) writing, as well as long ILT runtimes on CPU-based computing platforms, “ said Aki Fujimura, CEO of D2S.

”Implementing and verifying curvilinear ILT is now practical in semiconductor manufacturing. The A40 is an incredible processor that represents a huge leap forward in price/performance. Unlike other approaches that are principally designed for CPU-based computing, our algorithms are redesigned from the ground up to be single-instruction-multiple-data (SIMD), and our CDPs are co-designed with the software that take full advantage of GPU acceleration.”

“With the SIMD computing approach there is no difference in runtime whether shapes are rectilinear or curvilinear, unlike for traditional CPU-based algorithms that suffer from longer runtimes when the number of vertices increases. From creating and processing complex mask shapes to helping to write the masks and analyzing mask SEM data to providing deep learning engines, our GPU-accelerated solutions help customers to achieve manufacturing success on their leading-edge mask and chip designs.”

DS2 has shipped at total of 40 systems to leading edge fabs around the world, including to Nvidia for its chips made at TSMC.

“The entire semiconductor industry faces increasingly difficult challenges with each new process node,” said Jerry Chen, Head of Manufacturing Business Development at Nvidia. “GPU acceleration has inevitably become the industry standard for computational lithography, and we look forward to leveraging the manufacturing benefits of D2S’s latest generation solution, based on the NVIDIA Ampere architecture, for our own future products.”

The D2S TrueMask tool uses the Computational Design Platform for photomask designs using complex rectilinear and curvilinear shapes for superior wafer quality within practical, cost-effective write-times. D2S is the managing sponsor of the eBeam Initiative and a founding member of the Centre for Deep Learning in Electronics Manufacturing (CDLe).

www.design2silicon.com.

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