China successfully developed the first OPC software for fully autonomous computing lithography EDA in China

According to reports from China Optics Valley and Hubei Satellite TV, Yuwei Optical Software Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Yuwei Optics"), founded by Professor Liu Shiyuan of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, has successfully developed a nationally produced, independently controllable software. Computational lithography OPC software fills the gap in China. At present, integration and testing are being done, and verification is being done at chip manufacturers. Wuhan Optoelectronics Industrial Research Institute, an incubator, will also provide technology transformation services.

OPC software, that is, Optical Proximity Correction Software, is a kind of chip design tool EDA. Without it, even if a lithography machine is used, a chip cannot be produced.

According to Liu Shiyuan, lithography is the most critical process in chip manufacturing. Through the lithography imaging system, the designed pattern is transferred to the silicon wafer. As chip sizes continue to shrink, exposure patterns on silicon wafers become distorted. Before the lithographic manufacture of chips below 90nm or even 180nm, a class of algorithm software called OPC (Optical Proximity Correction) must be used for optimization. Without OPC, all IC manufacturers would lose the ability to turn chip designs into chip products.

Liu Shiyuan is a double-appointed professor and doctoral supervisor of the School of Optics and Electronic Information and the School of Mechanical Science and Engineering of Huazhong University of Science and Technology; the director of the Integrated Circuit Measurement Equipment Research Center of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and the director of the Integrated Circuit Measurement and Testing Technology Innovation Center of Optics Valley Laboratory. In his early years, he studied under Academician Yang Shuzi, the former president of Huazhong University of Science and Technology and a famous mechanical scientist, and received a doctorate in engineering in 1998.

Liu Shiyuan joined Shanghai Microelectronics Equipment Co., Ltd. (SMEE) in 2002 and undertook the national 863 major special project - "100nm lithography machine" development task, as a member of the overall team and the person in charge of the control discipline. Liu Shiyuan established SMEE's first control engineering laboratory, which solved the technical problems of synchronous control of mask tables, workpiece tables, and exposure dose in scanning projection lithography machines.

In October 2020, Liu Shiyuan established Yuwei Optical Company. At present, except for 2 administrative staff members, the team is all R&D personnel. They come from China, the United States, Russia, and other countries. They are top technical experts in related fields. More than 30% of the members have doctorates and have rich industry experience. Finally, an autonomous and controllable OPC software algorithm is created.

Yuwei Optics recently announced the completion of the Pre-A round of financing of tens of millions of yuan. After the completion of this round of financing, Yuwei Optics will further strengthen the integration and software productization of each core module, and at the same time calibrate, test and verify various software parameters. In the next step, Yuwei Optics will accelerate the pace of product promotion, accelerate its entry into the market of chip manufacturers at home and abroad, and strive to become an important link in the global chip industry chain.

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