Background Plug-Ins


The background module has an extension interface. It can be used to add programmatically images as background including live images, control the current view of the LayoutEditor and synchronize its alignment with any other device. The interface is open source. Please contact sales to get details on the specifications including example code and getting help on implementing an interface to your device. Commercial plug-in development can be offered.

Interface to TESCAN SEM

A plug-in to access a SEM from TESCAN was introduced with release 20190110. To start the TECAN plug-in it had to be loaded in the same way as a normal background image (mainemenu/Utiltites/Misc/Set background image). This plug-in is shipped within the LayoutEditor package and located in the ‚LayoutEditor/bin‘ folder on Windows systems and in the ‚plugins‘ folder on Linux and Mac systems. The plug-in can also be load by a macro. Like any other macro, this macro can be added anywhere in the menu tree of the LayoutEditor. A ready to use macro for this task is located under mainmenu/Utilities/Macro/Setup/Connect to TESCAN-SEM. Also, it is possible to set this macro as an autostart macro triggered any time the LayoutEditor is started (in the setup dialog under macros/autostart macro)

Once the plug-in is loaded the background tools of the LayoutEditor will be displayed. Next to all other features, the LayoutEditor offers to handle background images and a new tab with controls for the TESCAN-SEM is displayed.

Host IP address and port number of the SEM can be entered and the connect button will establish the connection to the SEM. On old Linux systems (e.g. for Ubuntu 14.4 Linux or RHEL6) the SEM interface had to be in the firewall friendly mode. On Windows, Mac and newer Linux system, both connection modes of the SEM are fine.

Once the connection is established the tab interface switched to the SEM control:

With the display section, the SEM stage position display within the layout can be controlled.

  • none → no display
  • rectangle box → a grey box with the size of the current SEM view is displayed
  • cross → a box with a cross is displayed
  • live → a live image of the SEM is displayed. Several SEM parameters can be set. The live image in the SEM software will be disabled.

After the first connection to the SEM the stage position is not aligned. There will be an offset between the design and the stage. However, the scale will be correct. To perform the wafer/stage alignment the wafer align controls are used. Alignment can be made on your choice by a 1 point, 2 points or 3 points alignment:

  • 1 point alignment: x/y offset will be adjusted, the scale is read from the SEM calibration
  • 2 points alignment: x/y offset, rotation, and scale will be calibrated
  • 3 points alignment: x/y offset, rotation, scale in X, scale in Y, and shear will be calibrated

The alignment of the single three points is identical. In the normal operation, the SEM stage and the display of the SEM position in the design will move synchronously. Once alignment is started SEM stage and background image can be moved separated. The center of the stage and the center of the background image had to be moved to the same location. The alignment of this point is completed once the align button is pressed.

An alignment error will show up in case the resulting scale diverges from the SEM calibration of more than 20%. The alignment for a design will be stored/restored for each design name. clear alignment will remove the stored values.

move stage to view will move the SEM stage to the position that is currently shown in the layout window.

view stage position will move the current layout display to the current stage position. This is independent of whether the stage position is displayed or not.

clone live image will create an additional background image with the current liven image. The display can be altered with any option normal background images have. In this way, multi-locations can be displayed behind the layout. For the cloned image as well as for the live image all display options for normal static background images are available.

Any settings are store on software shutdown and loaded on restart.