Smart Imaging Technologies Announces Full-chip Image-based Validation Tool

February 15, 2010

Smart Imaging Technologies has introduced ChipInsight™, an image-based, full-chip validation tool for the production flow of post-RET design validation. The product will be presented at SPIE’s Advanced Lithography 2010 conference in San Jose, CA, 21 - 25 February 2010.

ChipInsight™ is Smart Imaging’s first product built on a High-Performance Image Analysis Server Platform which employs parallel computing for analysis of CD-SEM image arrays of unlimited size. ChipInsight™ is designed to significantly reduce circuit RET validation cycle time. The technologies implemented in ChipInsight™ represent a step forward from single-image validation and enable image-based analysis of large areas at full resolution with immediate access to all the features on all of the images by multiple users via web interface.

Unlike conventional approaches which first use simulation, followed by inspection, followed by acquiring selected CD-SEM images, a process which can take weeks to generate the required data, ChipInsightâ„¢ allows direct validation of lithographic imprint using only CD-SEM images without the need for prior steps. Using CD-SEM images taken side by side, an Extreme Field of View (XFOV) composite image is created, analyzed and compared with the target design. High-performance parallel computing hardware acceleration allows stitching, alignment, contour extraction and analysis of massive amounts of CD-SEM image information in near real-time, and enables validation of up to 100 percent of the chip area. Overlaying the target design data and comparing it to the XFOV contours extracted from the array of CD-SEM images allows not only identification of hotspots, it also enables viewing the features and the design overlayed on any/all features immediately by multiple users on the network. Every feature can be available for review and analysis. While use of ChipInsightâ„¢ requires more CD-SEM images than other approaches, these images can be taken earlier in the process with automated acquisition available on modern CD-SEMs. ChipInsightâ„¢ can automatically read image streams from major CD-SEM manufactures.

“Our customers have told us that for new advanced technology nodes they need a precise matching between design and lithographic imprint for features that span much larger than CD-SEM single field of view can cover. IC manufacturers need to know whether OPC is matching the design intent and they want to perform validation beyond hotspots suggested by OPC tools”, said Vitali Khvatkov, CEO of Smart Imaging Technologies. “We are excited to offer this innovative solution. We are currently working with a select group of pilot customers in the Beta stage and will offer product to a larger industry group in the second quarter of 2010”, he added.

About Smart Imaging Technologies

Smart Imaging Technologies Co. is a Houston-based award winning Software Company that provides enterprise solutions for automated analysis and sharing of large image volumes for semiconductor and other industrial applications.
For further information, contact Smart Imaging Technologies at , e-mail or visit

ChipInsight Press Release (pdf)

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