Distribution of Fraunhofer IISB Lithography Simulation Software
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Press release from the issuing companyDecember 5, 2007 - Starting from 2008, Fraunhofer IISB will market its advanced and proven lithography simulation models and software algorithms in its development and research simulator Dr.LiTHO. The software can be purchased from Fraunhofer IISB. The cooperation with SIGMA-C, now part of Synopsys, will no longer be continued.
The Fraunhofer IISB lithography simulation software will
be distributed as the Dr.LiTHO [1, 2] software package. Dr.LiTHO was formerly used as the internal development and research lithography simulator of Fraunhofer IISB and can now be purchased from this institute. This direct approach to market replaces the collaboration with SIGMA-C. Following the acquisition of SIGMA-C by Synopsys, Synopsys and Fraunhofer IISB could not reach
a new agreement on the terms for continuing the cooperation.
The Munich-based software house SIGMA-C has been the sales partner for the simulation algorithms developed by Fraunhofer. As frequently published during this long-lasting cooperation between Fraunhofer IISB and SIGMA-C, important kernel algorithms of the established lithography simulators SOLID-C, SOLID-EUV, and SOLID-E were developed at Fraunhofer IISB. This, among others, includes FDTD  and the Waveguide Method  for the rigorous simulation of light diffraction from optical masks and extensions thereof for the modeling of EUV masks , for lithographic exposures over topography , and decomposition techniques for the fast rigorous simulation of larger mask areas .
The Fraunhofer software Dr.LiTHO includes revised and optimized versions of the Waveguide Method for the rigorous simulation of mask diffraction effects, mesoscopic models for the description of line edge roughness (LER), and several interfaces for the coupling of lithography simulation flows with external academic or commercial simulators, in addition to standard simulation models which were also included in SOLID-E.
Dr.LiTHO employs a user concept based on the modern programming language Python. This approach offers wide portability, various methods for parallelization, easy-to-use visualization components, and much more [1, 2]. Dr.LiTHO can be easily adapted to the modeling of alternative lithography techniques such as interference exposures, near field lithography, and/or contact and proximity printing. Optionally, Dr.LiTHO can be combined with the advanced optimization tools of Fraunhofer IISB . Additional capabilities and interfaces will be added to Dr.LiTHO through future research and development.
In the future, the advanced lithography simulation algorithms of Fraunhofer IISB will also be combined and commercialized in combination with various simulation
and metrology tools of academic research groups and commercial suppliers. New developments in the distribution of the IISB simulation software, including strategic alliances, will be published on our web site 
and on appropriate occasions elsewhere.
A user group will be established to support the industrial application and further development of Dr.LiTHO. Fraunhofer IISB will support members of this user group
to adapt the simulation algorithms of Dr.LiTHO to their specific purpose. The requirements as defined by the user group will have a strong impact on the further development of Dr.LiTHO, both for "traditional applications" of lithography simulation in projection printing for semiconductor fabrication and for alternative lithographic technologies and areas of application.
The Fraunhofer IISB lithography simulation group has a long-standing history in lithography simulation. Almost 20 years ago Wolfgang Henke, at that time at Fraunhofer IMT, started to develop algorithms for the simulation of lithographic projection printing processes . Today, the lithography simulation group of Fraunhofer IISB led by Andreas Erdmann employs 8 scientists and PhD students with various backgrounds in physics/optics, electrical engineering, and computer science.
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