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CFD Helps Ensure Thermal Integrity of Lithography System
Posted Wed July 03, 2002 @05:02PM
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Application Engineers at ASML have guaranteed the thermal reliability of a heat-sensitive unit in record time using Flo/MCAD, a software tool designed to take production-quality CAD files and quickly and easily simplify them for thermal analysis within Flotherm, Flomerics' thermal management package. The powerful Flo/MCAD tool allowed ASML to simplify existing production-quality Solid Edge CAD file data for the control cabinet of its AT:1100 lithographic system, saving considerable engineering design time by automatically eliminating intricate details surplus to requirements for thermal analysis purposes. Prior to the launch of Flo/MCAD, Engineers were forced to laboriously re-key data from original CAD files in a simplified format suitable for thermal simulation. Flo/MCAD eases this task, giving Design Engineers exact control on the level of retained detail, saving time and ensuring a simulation's accuracy.

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The heat sensitive control cabinet in question is housed within ASML's AT:1100 lithographic (or imaging) system, used in the production of Integrated Circuits to print circuit information onto silicon wafers. ASML is a world leader in this technology, which allows semiconductor manufacturers to continually shrink IC designs and produce more chips per wafer with higher yield and performance. The AT:1100 is the industry's first high-productivity, dual-stage ArF (193nm) lithography system for 300mm wafer processing with 100nm resolution. It is imperative that the unit is reliable as throughput is a major factor for manufacturers when choosing a lithography system. Heat dissipation had become an issue as the number of functions incorporated within these systems has significantly increased, resulting in a rise in the number and power of electrical and heat-dissipating components within the control cabinets.

The ASML design engineers needed to use Flomerics' Flotherm software to be sure the higher power electrical components used to boost functionality within the AT:1100 would be effectively cooled in their housing. However, much of the intricate detail contained in production-quality Unigraphics 3D Solid Edge CAD files is of no significance to a thermal analysis; it simply slows the analysis without adding anything to its accuracy. The ASML CAD files were prepared with production in mind, thus FloMCAD was used to remove thermally insignificant details such as small depressions, holes and features that have no effect on airflow.

Flo/MCAD can read files from virtually any 3D solid modelling program via STEP, IGES and SAT formats. The powerful tool allows Designers to control exactly how much detail is retained for the thermal analysis, giving them the power to decide the complexity of the final data they receive. This is possible because very complex objects can be thermally modelled accurately with much simpler geometric shapes. A good example is a fan, which geometrically is very complex but in thermal terms can be displayed as a simple unit that pushes, pulls and swirls a set amount of air. By not modelling the individual blades, time can be saved analysing airflow without loss of accuracy.

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