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UT ECE Professor David Pan Awarded National Science Foundation Grant

UT ECE professor David Pan has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study Design for Manufacturability in Extreme Scaling with Emerging Nanolithography.

Advancing lithography patterning, which enables feature size scaling, has been a holy grail for the semiconductor industry. There are several leading nanolithography technologies for 14nm, 11nm, 7nm and 1x nm for extreme scaling, including multiple patterning lithography (MPL), extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUVL) and e-beam lithography (EBL). This project aims at developing novel design for manufacturability algorithms, tools, and methodologies for nanometer integrated circuits (IC) manufactured through these emerging nanolithography technologies. The proposed research will synergistically link nanolithography process modeling/abstraction with multi-scale layout optimization. For MPL, robust and scalable multi-objective layout decomposition algorithms and MPL-aware physical design tools will be developed. For next-generation nanolithography such as EUVL and EBL, new design and process integration issues will be studied. Hybrid nanolithography (e.g., combining MPL with EBL) will also be explored to shed light on ultimate nano-patterning for future IC layout design. The proposed solutions will span multiple technology layers and bring together experts from both academia and industry.

This proposed project addresses fundamental challenges to bridge the gap between IC design and manufacturing in extreme scaling. Thus its potential impacts to the semiconductor industry and associated information and high-tech industries cannot be overstated. The academia-industry collaboration between University of Texas and IBM promises innovative and high-risk academia research coupled with realistic industry data/benchmarks and timely technology transfer through IBM and its global partners to benefit the overall industry. The highly interdisciplinary nature of this research will be tightly integrated into a variety of curriculum development and diverse student mentoring programs.

Dr. David Z. Pan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. He has received a number of awards, including 8 Best Paper Awards, NSF CAREER Award, ACM/SIGDA Outstanding New Faculty Award, UCLA Engineering Distinguished Young Alumnus Award, IBM Faculty Award four times, and SRC Inventor Recognition Award three times.