Image Number 4 for United States Patent #7014955.
Automated techniques for identifying dummy/main features on a mask layer are provided. In a multiple mask layer technique, the definition of a dummy/main feature can be based on connectivity information or functional association information. In a geometry technique, the definition of a dummy/main feature can be based on a feature size, a feature shape, a pattern of features, or a proximity of a feature to a neighboring feature. In one embodiment, multiple definitions and multiple techniques can be used.