Mask data files are growing to humongous proportions in the nanometer design era. These files, which are typically in Applied Materials' proprietary MEBES (Manufacturing Electron Beam Exposure System) format, are the most commonly used method of representing and exchanging mask data. But at the 45-nm half-pitch node, a mask-data file for a single metal layer is expected to be as large as 825 Gbytes.
To address this growing problem of mask-data file sizes, SoftJin Technologies has debuted its MEBESzip tool, which compresses these MEBES files by a factor of 5X to 15X. The result is not only significantly reduced file sizes, but also much shorter data-transfer times.
MEBESzip converts mask data in MEBES format into a highly compressed, proprietary binary format. This binary format can be decompressed to recover the original bit-for-bit matching MEBES file. Additionally, the tool allows for selective decompression, which eliminates the need to decompress the entire file before further processing.
The MEBESzip tool can be integrated into other post-layout EDA tools, such as mask data preparation, resolution-enhancement technology suites, manufacturing rules checking, and mask-data viewers and inspection tools, all of which either generate or consume MEBES data. This can be achieved through use of the application-programming interface that is available with MEBESzip.
MEBESzip is available now and is licensed in executable form either as a standalone tool or in object-code form along with an API for users who wish to integrate it with other post-layout tools. MEBESzip is currently offered for a one-month free evaluation. Contact SoftJin Technologies directly for information regarding evaluation, pricing, and licensing models.